When you have an ice cream, do you have one scoop or two? I’m definitely a two-scoop guy and would probably mix up the flavours too. I used to think that this is what was meant by “double portion” in the Bible. Not ice cream! But the idea of receiving lots rather than a little. Abundance rather than poverty.
There is an element of truth to this. God does want to bless his children, but there is a much more crucial meaning to this phrase. In Old Testament times, a father would leave his inheritance to his sons in equal portions, but the eldest son would inherit a double portion. This was to maintain the family farm and land. Otherwise, the inheritance would be smaller and smaller until everyone just had an allotment! The eldest son was favoured above the others, much like our Royal family.
In this verse, God is saying to his people that he wants to view them like the first son. He wants them to not act like a forgotten son with an orphan spirit. Instead, he wants them to step into the fullness of their inheritance. He is inviting them to step into co-ownership of the Kingdom with God. He is drawing them away from their shame and into the honour that he has bestowed on them. A sneak peak at tomorrow’s part of the verse indicates this too. (“and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.”)
God is inviting us into this as well. Through Jesus Christ, we are invited to be co-heirs in his Kingdom. (Romans 8:17) But how often we spend our time focusing on our shame, being downcast and despondent.
The invitation for us today is to lift our eyes to Jesus and accept the approval and love of an abundant heavenly father who is asking you to join in.
We invite you to join us as we journey slowly and prayerfully through Isaiah 61 - line by line over forty days.