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Isaiah 61: 3

and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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. 


Large: w 19.50” x h 9.00”

Oaks of Righteousness

We have all been hurt in our lifetime and the use of the common metaphor “I have been burnt” may just open up this scripture. I can think of no one more noted for this in the Old Testament than Joseph, thrown in a pit and sold into slavery by his own brothers. This is a hard action to justify in a person’s life. Maybe if it was someone in the world, but your own family? Why? Just because of wearing the favor of his father (the coat of many colors) and trusting GOD for the dreams foretold of his life? I, as well, can relate with a lack of understanding of how your own brothers in Christ Jesus can and have thrown you in the pit of isolation and would sell you into slavery just to do away with your favor from the father and the mantle of anointing that has been placed upon you. “Be gone, be gone” your brothers say, so “that I may look good in my father’s eyes.” You carry away the feeling of being burnt and have no more than a pile of ashes as a memorial. But GOD’s dream is true and you rise from the ashes in the household of Potiphar even to the elevation of being treated as a son. Potiphar’s wife had a different plan and Potiphar unsure what to do. Again, you hear “Be gone, be gone” and off to prison you go. Burnt again and all you can do is to add to the ashes you have already been given by your brothers. God’s dream is still true and the LORD was with Joseph and His favor before the warden elevated Joseph to a high position even in prison. This is a different kind of being burnt and I am sure you have been there as well as I, and have done the work for someone else with no recognition or reward. The ash pile is growing wider and taller, but this is your life and so, you carry the ashes placed upon you with the strength that you have. Now comes a spark of hope when two high position people of Pharaoh’s Court are placed with you in prison. Both have dreams and Joseph said that “God is the only one who can give an interpretation”.  After hearing both of the men’s dreams, revealing the one dream and reluctantly to share the other interpretation, he then shared both and they soon came to pass, but for all his efforts all that was added was ashes to his demise. For after helping and encouraging this man, he was soon forgotten. Haven’t you been there? I have. You help out a friend, a brother or sister and as soon as they are out of their place of need, they are gone from your life and only the ashes of neglect and unthankful ness remain. The question is, how did Joseph deal with the cumbersome load of ashes that have been his only reward before standing in front of Pharaoh and interpreted his dream? How do you? How did I? It is common in this broken world to accumulate ashes of various kinds. The list of ashes is endless, but the removal for the believer is by faith that GOD can take these ashes and turn them into a crown of beauty. I personally have struggled too long with my pile of ashes before saying, “I cannot maneuver in life like this anymore”.  I was prompted to go to Isaiah 61:3 and pray “GOD only you can take these ashes and bestow on me a crown of beauty. Only you can anoint me with the oil of gladness instead of mourning and cover me with the garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair”. And yes, GOD can and will do such a work in you to raise you above the ashes of life and you will soar as a phoenix. It is in this context that you are able to grow past the misfortunes of life and become an oak of righteousness, the planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor. Only GOD can speak a word and create this world from nothing and only GOD can take the ashes of your life and exchange them for His glory for you. Praise the wonders of the Almighty GOD who not only cares for you and me, but will take the ashes of life and exchange them for the covering of praise and plant you with the stability of a mighty oak of righteousness. Please note the verse states “oaks”, yes, more than one, as vast as the forests that encompass the earth around us. These oaks that are planted by GOD for His glory, there is always room for one more. Praise GOD!!!

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