The Planting of the Lord
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord . . . 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3 KJV
The “acceptable year of the Lord” is the year of favor. Favor is God’s grace, acceptance, and kindness; it’s His grace operating in a person, grace on the part of the Giver, and a divine influence on the heart of man (Prov. 21:1). Of His fullness we have all received, favor for favor (John 1:16). The “set time” to favor those who have accepted their righteousness of God in Christ is now (Psalm 102:13)—they are called “the planting of the Lord.” In Christ Jesus, believers are “Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Heb 12:22-23), “that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that [H]e might be glorified” (text).
The planting of the Lord means that God has set you into the ground (His Word) to grow, to be established, to be settled, fixed and rooted. To be planted reminds you to be “steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). Where does God plant us? God plants His people on the “mountain.” The “mountain” speaks of an elevated place of enlightenment; a place of exaltation; and, a high place of spiritual realization (see Ex. 15:9, 15-17). On the mountain, you have a clear view of the enemy’s tactics and overcome them in victory.
God said to the complacent Israelites, who had camped out at Mount Horeb for a long time after being redeemed from Egypt: “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the [mountain] country of the Amorites . . .” (Deut 1:6-7). The Amorites, the largest of the Canaan land nation tribes, were summit dwellers, mountaineers, and highlanders who had a reputation for wickedness and destruction. Spiritually speaking, the “Amorites” can only be overcome by ascending their mountain to elevate your thoughts and deeds, i.e., being transformed by the renewing of your mind (Roman 12:2).
Because the righteous are the planting of the Lord: “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing . . .” (Ps. 92:12-14). Palm trees stand tall and are known for their long life–a symbol of beauty and fruitfulness. And, cedars of Lebanon can grow to 120 ft. in height and 30 ft. in circumference. They are solid, strong, and immovable—a symbol of strength and permanence. Like the palm tree and the cedars of Lebanon, you are a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord!