Matthew 5:4; Isaiah 61:1-3; Various
Righteous Mourning - Grieving over the Godly Loss
Matthew 5:4; Isaiah 61:1-3; Various
Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.
Yesterday we started a study of the Beatitudes which are blessing that Jesus gave from God. Jesus was asking for God’s favor and protection. It is a spiritual joy that comes from God.
The second blessing in Matthew 5:4 simply says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This sounds rather simple on the surface. This is perhaps the verse you would share with someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one and is looking for comfort. I don’t doubt at all \ that this verse has application to the Christian in this situation. We should certainly look to the Lord at such times and find in Him the balm we need, when our spirits are crushed with sadness. No other comforter knows exactly what we need, and can supply that need without fail.
It reminds me of the hymn, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”. Can we find a friend so faithful. Who will all our sorrows share. It brings to mind the picture of the Lord God himself bending a knee to wipe every tear from our eye when we stand in glory. Yes, indeed… what a friend!
My pray is that anyone going through the valley of grief at the moment will be encouraged by this to look to the Lord for comfort. This is not to say He will immediately make you feel better; but He will certainly give you sustenance, purpose, and hope beyond the present situation.
But there’s more to this verse. There is a strong connection between it and Isaiah 61:1-3 where God encourages those who would go into exile in Babylon: 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— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. This was addressed to a people who had suffered all kinds of loss, not just of people, but possessions, land… their Promised Land, their Temple, The Ark, and so much more.
It is actually righteous mourning. It is those who grieve over injustice, over poverty, over sickness, and, perhaps most significantly, over sin. The blessing is that they will be comforted.
Isaiah 61 is also recognized as being a Messianic prophecy. It looks forward to a day when the Messiah will come to set things right. Here in the Beatitudes, Jesus is connecting the dots. He is that one who has come to bring comfort to the grieving–even those who grieve over sin. In him, and in him alone can our weary souls find rest. Nowhere else can we find release from the burden of sin.
In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus entered a synagogue in Nazareth, opened the Scriptures and quoted Isaiah 61. When he was finished, he closed the book and told the gathered crowd, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus shared this same idea in Matthew 11:28-30 when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
My prayer today is for you who are weary and burned… who mourn for those who are lost in this dark and sinful world. May you find comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for comforting us when we are sad. Thank you for the Messianic prophesies of hope that are fulfilled in Jesus. We grieve over the lost as you do. Father, We ask for you to help us be a light into this world. In Jesus name. AMEN!
“Good night and God bless you.”