Monday 23 September 2013

Isaiah 42:22 “But this is a robbed and plundered people. All of them are snared in holes, and they are hidden in prisons. They have become a prey, and no one delivers; and a spoil, and no one says, ‘Restore them!’”

Isaiah was without question one of the greatest prophets in the history of Israel.  He is referred to as the Messianic prophet because of all the references to the coming Messiah.

Chapter 42 is part of a very long text which continues to the end of the book.  The central message is this: God is faithful; He has promised great things; His people were unfaithful and lost all that God had given them; but a time is coming when God will restore His people.

God describes His own people as a people who were taken as prey and destroyed.  This was because of their own sin.  Because of their rebellion against God and His word, enemies came against them for which they had no ability to repel.

There are two different kinds of “bad things” that happen in life.  The first kind is the bad stuff that comes because we live in a very imperfect world.  As Jesus said, It rains upon the just and the unjust. (See Matthew 5:45)

The second kind is the bad stuff that comes because we have walked out from under God’s protection.  And friend, it is God’s kindness and mercy that allows this kind of bad stuff.  Because then we will cry out to God and God will restore us.

In both cases the great lie of Satan is that God is not good.  He is unfair.  He blesses some but not all.  And He certainly doesn’t bless you.

It is a bit like children on Christmas day who are so focused on the gift they wanted but didn’t get, that they don’t see all the presents they were given.  God gives love equally to all His children.  He never loves one, or prefers one above the other.  But He doesn’t give gifts equally.  God will give some things to one that He will not give to another.  So, in the presence of God we are all equal; but in our function and our service, we are all very, very different.

The problems begin for us when we focus on the function, or the service, and not on our standing with God.  We will always be susceptible to the lies of the devil when we focus on what God gives, rather than on how God loves.

It is time for you to realize that God has restored many things in your life.  But He still has a people who are in prison and in debt spiritually.  He wants you to take the message of restoration to them and give them hope.

However, to do this you must be fully restored in your love-relationship with God.  God said later to His people, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the nations, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth. (49:6)

Allow this verse to speak to you today.  Let it alight in your heart the ministry of restoration.

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