Years ago I worked at Tyndale House Publishers and was able to spend time with Dr. Ken Taylor, the founder of the company who wrote the Living Bible. One thought I had about him was of all the people who ever read the Living Bible, who got the most out of it?
Dr. Taylor did.
He wrote it.
So, I decided to try this method of Bible study. Paraphrase the verse and see if you can get all of the original meaning into your paraphrase.
Here is my attempt at Isaiah 61. See how you think I did.
|Isaiah 61:1||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;||The presence of God is with me. His Spirit is on me empowering me to proclaim the gospel to those who are so weak and poor. I have a commission from Him to wrap up and bandage the hearts that have been shattered and to tell the captives that they are now free.|
|Isaiah 61:2||To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;||Jubilee has come! God is ready to set the record straight, to balance the scales, to right the wrongs and bring deep comfort to those whose hearts are mourning.|
|Isaiah 61:3||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.||Here’s how He’s going to fix it: for those whose lives seem nothing but ashes He’s going to make them beautiful, green and full of life. For those who are weighed down with heavy sadness, just like a brand new garment He’s going to adorn you with praise! These children of God who God does this for are going to be planted firm in Him, like beautiful, fruitful trees. Giving God constant glory.|
|Isaiah 61:4||And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.||After God affects these people in this way, the effect they will have on others will be amazing. Places that have been totally destroyed, just like their lives were will be restored as well as they are. The generational curses on families will be broken. The blessing has come.|
|Isaiah 61:5||And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.||You’ll be amazed at who God will send to help you. People from foreign countries and those you don’t even know will feed your flocks, plow your fields and tend your vines,|
|Isaiah 61:6||But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.||because you will be too busy for that. People will call you Priests of the Lord and Ministers of the Most High God. The wealth of those who don’t even know God will come looking for you. God has appointed it to you. Their glorious riches will be yours.|
|Isaiah 61:7||For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.||For all the shame, pain and confusion you’ve endured God will give you double blessing. In your land you will have twice as much blessing as the pain you endured. Oh the joy that will be on them! It won’t end.|
|Isaiah 61:8||For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.||I, your God, love fixing things this way! I hate when people try to work their own salvation. I want to do it for them. I want to do the cutting so they don’t have to. It’s my covenant with them and it will pass down to their kids,|
|Isaiah 61:9||And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.||Their children will be known all over the world. Everyone that sees them will be confronted with how much I’ve blessed them. They will acknowledge the ones I have blessed as chosen by me.|
|Isaiah 61:10||I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.||Lord, I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness for everything you’ve done. I’m completely clothed and protected with your salvation and you make look great in your eyes with your gift of righteousness. I feel as well taken care of as a the groom at a wedding; I’m totally decked out. Or like a bride covered with her dress and beautiful attire; your salvation on us is so beautiful.|
|Isaiah 61:11||For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.||It’s amazing how soil grows what’s sown it; the seeds bud and flourish. Just so, Lord, you are causing your praise and glory to spring up throughout the nations because of how extravagant your salvation is.|