Nizzavim & Va-Yelekh
Torah: Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:9 - 31:30
For the week of September 4, 1999 / 23 Elul 5759
Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10).
You can often tell a lot about a person's life from their clothes. What a person wears often provides a strong impression about their economic situation, their occupation, their likes and dislikes, the type of people they spend time with, and so on.
Clothing can have a transforming effect as well. Have you ever seen someone who normally wears industrial-type clothing suddenly appear dressed in a fine suit? It was almost as if they were a completely different person.
I was recently involved in a wedding as the best man. It was the first time that I was fitted for a tuxedo. While in the wedding supply store, it was fascinating to watch plain-looking people transformed before my eyes.
In our portion we see Isaiah transformed. What he experienced was like being dressed up for a wedding. He says,
God had provided Isaiah with the clothing of salvation and righteousness.
Salvation is being set free from outside controlling and destructive forces. In the midst of a society confused and troubled, Isaiah had come to know freedom.
Righteousness basically means to be straightened out. Though the world around him was spinning out of control, Isaiah had been given a sense of direction, and he knew it.
When I got dressed up in the tuxedo, I felt like I was in disguise. The level of class suggested by such fancy and expensive clothing was not an expression of who I think I am, or what others may think of me. But for the time I wore them, I lived the part of the best man. I was enabled to participate in the center of the wedding festivities as these clothes symbolized a place and position that I had been granted.
Because of the spiritual clothing that God provides, we can be what we are not naturally. He enables us to participate in his joyous festivities. In the midst of the troubles of this life, we can delight in his goodness.
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