When the Kingdom of Judah was devastated by Babylon, the people of Zion were murdered, and the remaining lot were deported to a foreign country with foreign customs and foreign gods. It was at that point that the Prophet Isaiah delivered the prophetic words to the destitute, the mourners, as recorded in the Book of Isaiah.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion
(Isaiah 61: 1-3)
Isaiah was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord to preach the good news to the destroyed people of Judah. Judahites were not poor, physically but spiritually. They worshipped detestable idols, killed their infants through the fires and were fond of boasting about their military power. The Levites were diligent in the Temple, but they deprived widows their rights and allowed the kings to destroy their own people.
Therefore, they all became poor, and the good news came to them -- the justice of the vengeance of the Lord, and comfort for all who mourn. The good news came when Judah was made poor -- so poverty is what it may take for us to receive God’s message.
Jesus, 800 years later, preached the same good news: Blessed are the poor in the spirit, because yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Matt. 5: 3)
The word poor in Greek means someone disgusting with the lowest degree of respectability and, someone with nothing to boast about. It may take a lot of soul searching before we realize how utterly poor we are before God. When we come to that place -- the poor state, the Lord says, “blessed are you.”
Pray this prayer with me:
Lord, I praise you for reminding me how poor I am …even though I might be in the top end of my career, with the best academic achievements, or have excellent ministry credentials. O Lord I consider all these as rubbish if I don’t know your grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Dear Lord, I bow in humility and ask that you enable me to enter into the riches of Christ as I repent of all sin and accept the work of Christ on the Cross. Amen