People of Plunder
Lord, thank You that “The word of God is alive and active” (Heb. 4:12, TNIV). May it be so in me.
Read Isaiah 42:10-25
 Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them.  Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops.  Let them give glory to the LORD and proclaim his praise in the islands.  The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.  “For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.  I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools.  I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.  But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame.  “Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see!  Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one in covenant with me, blind like the servant of the LORD?  You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.”  It pleased the LORD for the sake of his righteousness to make his law great and glorious.  But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot, with no one to say, “Send them back.”  Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come?  Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law.  So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did the people become "plunder"?
God is doing extraordinary new things (see v. 9); surely he deserves a “new song” of praise, Isaiah says (10). The Lord is the great, victorious warrior (13)! But saving the world will cost him dearly, just like a woman in childbirth (14). Nothing will stand between the Lord and the salvation of his people. He will do whatever it takes to get them back where they belong (15,16). But disaster! God’s people are deaf to what he’s telling them and blind to what he’s doing (18-20). Someone or something is holding them captive, just like a hoard of plunder. Read vs. 22-25 again thinking about why this unusual image is so appropriate for people who just can’t see their wrongdoing. Have you ever thought of yourself as plunder (22)? Is there anything that might be preventing you from doing or becoming what God wants? Sing this song (if you know it) or pray these words: “Set my spirit free that I might worship you; set my spirit free that I might praise your name. Let all bondage go and let deliverance flow; set my spirit free to worship you.”
Reflect on this and then ask God if there is any way or any area in which you are somehow “blind” or “deaf” (18-20)?
Gracious Lord, open my mind and spirit to any blindness or deafness toward You that is in me.
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