Cause for Being Joyful and Exulting in God
1. Why do the remnant of spiritual Israelites today overflow with joy in fulfillment of Isaiah 61:10?
THERE is inexpressible joy in one’s being liberated from captivity and imprisonment in Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. There is reason for one to exult in being restored to the favor and goodwill of the God of true religion. As the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites today contemplate their deliverance and restoration by Him, they overflow with joyfulness. The inspired prophet Isaiah puts the words into their mouths when he says: “Without fail I shall exult in Jehovah. My soul will be joyful in my God. For he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; with the sleeveless coat of righteousness he has enwrapped me, like the bridegroom who, in a priestly way, puts on a headdress, and like the bride who decks herself with her ornamental things.”—Isa. 61:10.
2. Do the anointed remnant still wear the “garments of salvation,” and why will they never be exiled from the spiritual paradise?
2 From the postwar year of 1919 onward Jehovah has wrought “salvation” for the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites by liberating them from Babylon the Great and her worldly paramours. In spite of all the religious persecution experienced since then, the anointed remnant still finds itself clothed with “the garments of salvation.” The remnant is determined to keep on wearing these identifying garments down till Babylon the Great and her immoral paramours are destroyed in the coming “great tribulation.” For doing this they will never be driven out and exiled from the spiritual paradise into which Jehovah has brought them since 1919.
3. Why did need arise for the anointed remnant to be enwrapped in a “sleeveless coat of righteousness”?
3 A “sleeveless coat of righteousness” is something added to “the garments of salvation” with which Jehovah has arrayed his restored remnant. In the eyes of the world, especially due to misrepresentation by Christendom’s clergy, the remnant of spiritual Israelites appeared to be unrighteous in a religious way. They were branded as heretics, false prophets, false Christs, deceivers, children of the Devil. Their being made the target of worldwide persecution seemed to confirm such charges against them, particularly so in Christendom. But how did Jehovah view them?
4. How did Jehovah show that he viewed the repentant, God-seeking remnant as righteous, vindicating them?
4 The great Judge of all did not condemn them and clothe them with prison garb, banishing them from his organization. Because of their seeking him and his Word, he received the repentant remnant back into his favor. He accorded to them the honorable privilege of being his witnesses, his ambassadors, to preach “this good news of the kingdom . . . in all the inhabited earth” for an international testimony before this wicked system of things ends. He caused his name, Jehovah, to be called upon them. (Matt. 24:14; Isa. 43:10) Then he used them mightily to make his name and purposes known to the four corners of the earth. This has meant vindication for the remnant!
5. So, figuratively speaking, what change of garments did the remnant experience, with a joy like that on what occasion?
5 This has proved to be a justification of the remnant, a declaring of them righteous before all the world. Figuratively, this has been an enwrapping of them “with the sleeveless coat of righteousness.” In this way they experienced a change of garments, from what is soiled to what is ornamental. (Isa. 52:1, 2) Their joy at this was early published in the leading, six-page article in the Watch Tower issue of February 1, 1925, entitled “The Robe of Righteousness,” as based on Isaiah 61:10, Authorized Version. Their joy has been like that of a bridegroom and his bride on their wedding day!
6. How lasting has been this rejoicing of the vindicated remnant, and who have rejoiced with them, in what practical demonstration?
6 As regards rejoicing, well, what Isaiah’s prophecy said earlier has proved to be true: “Rejoicing to time indefinite is what will come to be theirs.” (Isa. 61:7) Today, 43 years since 1935 C.E., the saved and vindicated remnant continues to rejoice indeed, but, more than that, the “great crowd” of their assistants join in the rejoicing. Taking the Bible’s viewpoint, they have come to view the anointed remnant as “the priests of Jehovah” and “the ministers of our God.” They discern that anointed class to be clothed “with the garments of salvation” and enwrapped “with the sleeveless coat of righteousness.” They express their own joy at this by serving Jehovah God alongside this approved remnant of priestly, public servants. Even though the “great crowd” are classed as “strangers” and “foreigners” and are likened to shepherds, farmers and vinedressers, the amount of relief and assistance that they have brought to the anointed remnant has been tremendous. The spiritual paradise has benefited from their presence.—Matt. 25:31-46.
7. Why was all this 20th-century miracle bound to come, just as spring regularly comes to Palestine?
7 All this 20th-century miracle was bound to come in fulfillment of Bible prophecy, just as truly as spring must regularly come to the land of Palestine. Never could the prophecy of Isaiah 61:11 fail: “For as the earth itself brings forth its sprout, and as the garden itself makes the things that are sown in it sprout, in like manner Jehovah himself will cause the sprouting of righteousness and of praise in front of all the nations.”
8. Why could Jehovah never leave things unrectified, and to what extent has he given his servants their “wages”?
8 How true to his own word Jehovah God has acted! He could never leave things unrectified. He is the God “loving justice, hating robbery along with unrighteousness.” (Isa. 61:8) At pay time he had to give to his hardworking servants “their wages in trueness.” He concluded the promised “new covenant” toward his anointed servants, and from this the “great crowd” has also benefited. (Jer. 31:31-34) He has already vindicated his Christian witnesses as his approved servants and will yet vindicate them further “in front of all the nations.” This will make his own righteousness spring forth for all the universe to see. It will also redound to his everlasting praise from the lips of all lovers of truth, righteousness and pure worship.
9. With what mantle should we ever identify ourselves?
9 Away, then, with “the downhearted spirit”! Let us ever identify ourselves with “the mantle of praise” and exult in Jehovah God through his anointed High Priest, Jesus Christ.—Isa. 61:1-3.