Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after Cantate

Posted on May 3, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 14:1-3 (NKJV)
14:1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. 2 Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the Lord; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
3 It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve.
God promises that Judah will return from exile. He will settle them in their own land. Foreigners will be joined to them. They will take as captives those who previously had taken them as captives, so that they will rule over their oppressors. The result is rest from sorrow, fear, and their slavery.
Isaiah is speaking of the Church. The devil had taken Adam and Eve captive through sin, so that all their descendants are born captives to temptation, sin, and death. As captives and slaves to sin, humanity brings upon itself sorrow, fear, and hard bondage in which we must willfully do our master’s bidding. We are ruled by sin. Temptation and desire must be obeyed so that we reap sorrow and fear of God’s wrath in our consciences.
But God has had mercy on Jacob. St. Paul says in Ephesians 4:8, “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” By atoning for all sins and by defeating death on the third day, Christ has led captivity captive. All who believe this Gospel receive the gifts of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, who removes our sorrow by giving joy in the perfect remission of sins. He overcomes the fear of temptation, giving us confidence in the promise that He strengthens us. We are no longer captives to sin who must do that master’s bidding. We are sons of God and slaves of righteousness.
Prayer: O God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will, grant unto Thy people that they may love what Thou commandest and desire what Thou dost promise, that among the manifold changes of this world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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