The Spirit's Fruit
|(17) The fruit of righteousness will be peace; |
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. (Isaiah 32:14-20)
This is a beautiful promise Isaiah offers as he envisions the work of God's Spirit in the world. While one is tempted to spiritualise these benefits and say that for the individual who lives righteously there will be inner-peace, inner-quietness and inner-confidence, the broader context of this passage (which is given in full below) is a picture of society restored.
Righteousness is justice well lived-out.
The results, according to Isaiah, of living righteously are peace, quietness and confidence.
1. In the midst of our broken world, the Spirit is poured out on us.
2. The Spirit causes Justice and Righteousness to spring up in unexpected places.
3. That righteousness bears peace, quietness and confidence - not only spiritually, but a peaceful, quiet and confident society.
4. Even though trouble comes, the righteous can continue to grow and bear fruit.
To sum up: It is the Spirit who brings forth righteousness in the world and in us, and when we co-operate with His work in us the results are peace, quietness and confidence in us and spilling over to our society.
So let's start the revolution now and relentlessly pursue righteousness!
32:14 The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
15 till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 Justice will dwell in the desert
and righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely,
20 how blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream,
and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.