A crown of beauty instead of ashes
Isaiah 61:1-3; 1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 30:11.
To understand these verses we need to understand the customs of the time. God’s plan is that when we give Him a little He will give us much.
Ashes refers to sackcloth and ashes. Sackcloth was a rough fabric and a sign of mourning. It was worn as a declaration of mourning or repentance. People would wear it and sit in a pile of ashes. They would throw ashes over themselves. In Daniel 8:27-9:3 Daniel put on sackcloth and ashes and prayed and fasted when he heard what God was going to do.
Sackcloth and ashes was right then, but to stay in sackcloth and ashes is not necessary today. Don’t get stuck in a sackcloth and ashes repentance cycle. We need to move on. Salvation is enough. Sometimes we have to show we are sorry by our actions. If we stay in sackcloth and ashes we will be uncomfortable for a very long time. God wants to give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes. God wants to exchange our repentance for a crown. He does not want us to stay in the same repentance. We need to see what is causing us to sin and avoid it, not continue in it and then repent. God says ‘Thank you for your repentance. Now show me you are sorry”.
God thinks each and every one of us is beautiful. We need to take off our sackcloth and ashes and move on. God want to give us robes of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and a crown of beauty (Isaiah 61:3).