Isaiah 61 (The Message)

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1 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. 2 God sent me to announce the year of his grace - a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies - and to comfort all who mourn, 3 To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness" planted by God to display his glory. 4 They'll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They'll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new. 5 You'll hire outsiders to herd your flocks and foreigners to work your fields, 6 But you'll have the title "Priests of God," honored as ministers of our God. You'll feast on the bounty of nations, you'll bask in their glory. 7 Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever. 8 "Because I, God, love fair dealing and hate thievery and crime, I'll pay your wages on time and in full, and establish my eternal covenant with you. 9 Your descendants will become well-known all over. Your children in foreign countries Will be recognized at once as the people I have blessed." 10 I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul! He dressed me up in a suit of salvation, he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo and a bride a jeweled tiara. 11 For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.
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