When the Captive Becomes the Victor
For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will choose Israel again. He will settle them on their own land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob. The nations will escort Israel and bring it to its homeland. Then the house of Israel will possess them as male and female slaves in the Lord’s land. They will make captives of their captors and will rule over their oppressors. Isaiah 14:1-2 (HCSB)
How do we interpret this passage? It sounds like revenge exacted upon our enemies? Yet, if we examine the Christian aspect we will see this in a different light. It is a promise that our enemies will be just like us, and they too will be received with open arms into God’s family. All will be freed from their bonds caused by selfish living, and become captive to the new life found by surrendering to the Lord’s will, way and wisdom.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Cor 3:17 (HCSB)
Even when we seek to turn our lives over to God’s will, ways, and wisdom does not mean we do not have freedom. Quite the contrary, we finally understand genuine freedom is found by surrendering to the Lord. His loving kindness frees us from all the aspects and influences of living life solely for the benefit of “self!” Avarice, envy, greed, haughtiness, arrogance and any other attitudes that has overshadowed our lives and kept us separated from the Lord are swept away — their hold upon us is torn away. A new overriding influence upon our life has come upon us once we surrender — the Spirit of God, filling the void in our heart and soothing our weary soul. We no longer will struggle to fill the void in our life through all the wrong means. We can discover the satisfaction never before realized by our own efforts.
In the days of Isaiah, those who were strangers to the Lord and enemies of his people discovered the Lord’s loving-kindness through the witness of his people as they faced the trials and tribulations that they were called to endure. Pagan kings and their people learned about the Lord’s lovingkindness through the testimonies of God’s people who were living in their lands. They became compelled to allow them to return to Judah and rebuild Jerusalem. The captors became the captives as they likewise became willing servants seeking the Lord’s will, ways, and wisdom, just as all of the Lord’s people had already done. By humbling themselves from being the captor to the captive, they became the real victors and no longer victims, as many previously believed.
How would you evaluate your own life? Are you feeling like the victim or the victor? Are you wishing you were the captor or the captive? Do you understand that as the servant to the Lord you are the captive, yet the victor! Think about it. It is not about winning and losing, but overcoming to become what God has intended for you. What better way could you explain what it means to be saved?