God promises His people that He has NOT forgotten them. One day He will bring them back to their land, and those whom they served will serve them. The tables will be turned!
First of all, let me say that I HATE slavery on ANY side! I don’t believe any man should own another man. But it must have been comforting to Judah to hear this prophecy; kind of. Judah had not yet gone into captivity. I don’t know if Israel had been captured yet either. But it must have been uncomfortable hearing Isaiah speak of being taken captive. Those who didn’t believe God probably didn’t believe this message easier. Though hearing today’s part would have given them hope; ‘just in case’.
Have you ever noticed that it is easier to believe God when He says good things are going to happen than it is to believe when He promises something difficult? We want to grab onto the blessing promises with both hands and feet, while pushing away the promises of disobedience. I think that’s human nature to want to believe the good. But then there are pessimists who only want to believe the bad and actually think it will be even worse! NOT the way I want to live.
God’s promises of healing, peace, and prosperity are no more valid than His ones of judgment. Some of the judgment ones might not come to pass because our actions. These would be conditional ones; “If you do ____, I will punish you with ____ for it. But if you repent, I will relent.” That’s the kind that Jonah brought to Nineveh. God was giving Nineveh another chance. But His promise to Israel of punishment through captivity was beyond ‘second chances’. They had had MANY chances and still refused to listen. There were a few who were listening, but not enough to save the nation. They didn’t repent from the ‘king all the way to the stable boy’.
And God’s promise to bring them back, to turn the tables on their oppressors, was just as solid. He told them in the beginning that they were a people HE had chosen. That they would be His people. And He doesn’t break promises, so something had to happen to restore them, AFTER they learned the lessons of unfaithfulness.
Even today, God still has not abandoned His chosen people. They are still rejecting His Son, but they ARE His children. MANY of those children will learn the lessons the Lord has been trying to teach them and accept His Son, but MANY won’t. Those who won’t, are not rejected by God but are rejecting Him instead. They have made their decision and He will not change it.
Salvation is another conditional promise. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). And if you truly make Jesus Lord of your life you are sealed in Him for eternity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). When you have given your life to God He DOES NOT EVER take that salvation away! Those who pretend to accept Him but continue to live a habitually sinful life do not inherit this promise. He MUST be Lord of your life. That is the condition of His promise. And you will be known by your fruits.
God LOVES His children and wants good for all of them. Included in that ‘good’ is discipline. But at the end of discipline, once it has done its work, is restoration. PRAISE GOD FOR THAT!!!
Father God, THANK YOU THAT I KNOW I AM LOVED! When I am disciplined, it proves to me that You care. It tells me that You love me enough to keep me from destruction. If You didn’t discipline me I would be lost, without any direction in my life. Because You love me, You care about where my life is headed. You care about how I treat others. You care about me coming to You to learn of You and Your word. THANK YOU for holding me to Your standards and growing me every day to reach them. THANK YOU that You don’t toss me away when I don’t grow fast enough or have to repeat a lesson. Lead me where I should go. I will follow!