19 Now you have been laid waste and made desolate and your land ruined, but soon you will be crowded again, and those who had devoured you will be gone far away. 20 You will hear again your sons which you had lost, saying “this place is too crowded; I need more room to live!” 21 Then you will say in your heart, “Who has given birth to these for me? I had lost my children and was barren, exiled and put away– so who has brought up these? I was abandoned– so where did these come from?” 22 This is what Yahveh promises: “Watch, I am going to raise my hand, signalling the nations, and they will bring your sons back to hug, and your daughters to carry on your shoulders.” 23 Kings will have provided for them like fathers, and princesses nursed them like mothers. These will bow down to you and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will understand that I am Yahveh, and that those putting their hope in me will not regret it. 24 Who dares to steal the prey from the warrior, or rescue captives from a tyrant? 25 Because Yahveh promises this: “Even the warrior’s captive I will take; and the tyrant’s plunder will be rescued. I will fight those who fought you, and I will rescue your sons. 26 I will make your oppressors turn on each other, devouring their own bodies and drinking their own blood. Then everybody will understand that I am Yahveh, your Saviour and rescuer; I am the warrior who fights for Jacob!
the warrior who fights for Jacob
One of the things I like about this passage is how God shows that he understands the deep hurt that the Babylonian captivity has inflicted on his people. He promises them that their sons and daughters will return, and return in such a surprising way. It will be so sudden that the bereaved parents will look around and ask where all these kids came from. This brazen promise would have been enough for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to conclude that Isaiah had finally lost all sense of logic. Yet it was fulfilled in God’s time. Yahveh proved to be the warrior that Jacob needed to rescue his sons from the foreign oppressor.
Have you thought about God as your warrior? He is, you know. He has both the power and the will to rescue you and your children from the bondage you were born into. I know it does not make sense. You have never known freedom. Why should you expect God to give you freedom? Simply this: it is what he promised. Take a look at all the other things that God has promised his people. His track record is solid. He delivers on his promises. Your loving Father who created you is also a rescuing warrior, standing at attention, ready to go into battle for you. You do not have to stay in bondage.
LORD, come and fight for us. We accept you offer to be our deliverer.