Contentment Turns the World Upside Down
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 that it is not what it appears. It is a glorious promise that our enemies will be just like us, and that they too will be received with open arms into God’s family, because they too will be freed from their bonds of selfish living, and now are captive to the new life they have found by surrendering to the Lord.
“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 turnover our lives to the Lord and seek God’s will, ways, and wisdom that does not mean we do not have freedom. Quite to the contrary, we now understand genuine freedom is found by surrendering to the Lord. His loving kindness frees us from all the aspects and influences of living to our “self!” Avarice, envy, greed, haughtiness, arrogance and any attitude that haunted our lives in the past and kept us separated from the Lord are swept away. Their grasp upon us is torn away. A new influence upon our lives is discovered once we surrender – the Spirit of God. This Spirit fills the void in our heart and our soul is soothed from the emptiness that we have tried to fill through all the wrong means. Genuine contentment is found for the very first time in our life.
In the days of Isaiah, those who were strangers to the Lord and enemies to his people discovered the Lord’s loving-kindness through the witness of those they enslaved. The Lord’s people dealt with all the trials and tribulations that their enemies forced them to endure. The pagan kings and their people learned about the Lord through the testimonies of God’s people who were forced to live in their lands as slaves and servants. Even after the pagans felt compelled to help God’s people to return to Judah and rebuild Jerusalem, many surrendered their lives over to the Lord and joined in the rebuilding of the Lord’s House. They became captive and a servant to the Lord’s will, ways, and wisdom, just as all the rest of the Lord’s people were. The captor became the captive! Yet in doing so they became the real victors, not the victims as many would believe. They found the contentment that only God’s presence in their lives could bring.
How would you evaluate your own life? Are you the victim or the victor? 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.
God’s greatest gift to us is the knowledge of true contentment in our lives.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire.
“Cease striving (fussing and fighting over what you don’t have) and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Ps. 46:8-11)