Reading this verse this morning reminded me of some things.
One, I should be full of joy at the things God is doing in my life. It is so easy to get my eyes on the wrong things and my mind in the wrong place. But God is doing so many awesome things. If I am not rejoicing and my soul does not want to leap within me, then I probably have my eyes trained on the wrong things and my thoughts fixed on the wrong ideas.
Two, I am wrapped in salvation. I find this an interesting metaphor as salvation is a process and we often find ourselves wrapped up in processes. But also, Paul would later write the it is the love of Christ — the very thing that drove Him to save us — that compels us. If I am able to exercise any restraint, it is because I am wrapped in salvation and it is God’s salvation which restrains me. Side note on this thought, the name Jesus is derived from Joshua which means “God is salvation”. Which could, by extension, mean that I am wrapped in Jesus. Which segues nicely into number three.
Three, I am clothed in righteousness. It is not that I am inherently righteous or that I possess righteousness, but that God gifts it to me on the basis of what His Son did on the cross. Paul wrote that God made Him Who knew no sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Similar idea. I put on Christ and it is His righteousness that God sees. If I do not put on Christ; if I try to stand on my own “merits”, then I have no righteousness at all in God’s sight.
Not knowing what the wedding practice of the time was like when Isaiah wrote this, I am not sure I track with the notions of groom and bride wearing a garland and jewels, but I know that weddings throughout history have made a habit of dressing up the bride and groom so that they look better than almost every other day of their lives. If that is the notion, then it speaks to the time when God will glorify this mortality and catch it up in immortality; when this body will be changed into a body that can be in His presence.
To sum up my rambling thoughts: God is doing amazing things in my life — most notably the process of salvation — and this should fill me with joy. If I am not filled with joy, then I need to refocus and see the great things that God is doing, starting with the regeneration of my own soul.