Servants to their Captives

Isaiah 14:2. ” And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.”

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The Gentiles who survive God’s judgment will help Israel to return to her own country, and will remain there themselves as servants  in the households of those who were once taken captive by their oppressors.

What an inflammatory prophecy this must be for those who hate Israel, wanting nothing more than to wipe that nation from the face of the earth and from the annals of history.  That hatred has existed since Abraham and Sarah thought they needed to help God fulfill His promise to them:  Sarah gave her maid to Abraham, and Ishmael was born. He was NOT the son of the promise.  Half-brother to Isaac, who was younger, Ishmael became the father of what we now identify as the  Arabian races. The enmity between Isaac’s seed, the Jews, and Ishmael’s seed, the Arabs, has never been resolved.

When we decide that God needs a little nudge, that we can help Him fulfill His plans, we always mess it up. We need to learn to let God be God.

It will be resolved, though, when Jesus comes to establish His kingdom for 1000 years. There will finally be peace in the Middle East.  Peace will not exist because of diplomacy or any man-made treaties, but because Jesus will reign.

It will be a totalitarian government.

He Led Captivity Captive

Ephesians 4:8. “Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”

When He ascended up on high:  this is a direct reference to the time when Jesus said farewell to His disciples and rose up into the heavens.  He had appeared to over 500 witnesses (I Cor. 15:6) after His resurrection, allowing so many to see Him in order to establish that He was indeed risen from the dead.  After spending time comforting His disciples and reassuring them of the coming presence of the Holy Spirit, He rose back into His heavenly home.  What a dramatic event that must have been!  I can hardly imagine what it must have looked like, what the disciples must have been thinking and feeling as the Lord they loved disappeared into the sky.

He led captivity captive:  Psalm 68: 18 says, “Thou has ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive: Thou has received gifts for men: yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” We see the phrase again in Judges 5:12. “Awake, awake, Deborah:  awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.”  The clear translation and meaning in that verse is that Barak was to “lead captive him who held you captive.” That understanding would clarify Ps. 68: 18 as well as this verse in Ephesians.

Again, Isaiah 14:2 says, “And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.”

 Jesus triumphed over him who had the power of death up to that time,  that He might deliver those “who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage:” (Heb. 2:15).  Satan, our greatest enemy, is now a conquered foe.  He has been led captive by Jesus Christ.  Satan has no power over the souls of those who have trusted Jesus Christ by grace through faith. He has been defeated, and Jesus Christ has taken His place on  His throne in heaven.  From there, He gives gifts to His church for its edification and blessing.