Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. (Isaiah 49:24-25)
The dictionary meaning of the word “captive” is ‘a person who has been taken prisoner or an animal that has been confined.’ In order to understand the word better, the winner of a battle between the two warring parties always take the spoils of the war. The winner is the lawful owner of the spoil of the war and whatever constitute the spoil is the captive. The carnivora animals consider that they are the rightful owner of the animal they have killed. The aggressive hyena or the wild foxes cannot compete with lion or tiger over its prey. A right-thinking man will not dare to attempt to deliver or take the prey from the mouth of a lion because naturally, prey is not expected to be taken from the mighty king of the forest.
We have a real scary event of captivity in the Bible. The three Hebrew men, Shadrack, Mishak and Abednego were slave taken by the Babylonian kingdom. These three Hebrews refused to worship the evil idol god of King Nebuchadnezzar. These men had honored God in holiness and in righteousness as was required of them according to the word of God. But as far as the king was concern, these men had committed a crime against the evil kingdom of the idolatry king. As a result, according to the law of the evil kingdom, they became lawful captives of the king that must be punished at his wicked and barbaric discretion. Therefore, he ordered that they be cast into the burning fiery furnace. The challenging question is, “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?”
The Lord God Almighty answered the rhetoric question and says, “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered.” We ask ourselves a question, “how will God be able to deliver the lawful captive?” The book of Isaiah helps to answer the question saying, “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)
The three Hebrew captive of the king Nebuchadnezzar were delivered from the burning fiery furnace by the divine presence of God and also, the mouth of lion were shut in their den and could devour Daniel. The obvious reason was that they have been redeemed, God had called them by their names, and they belonged to God. (Isaiah 43:1) They were so precious in the eyes of God and hence the reason why they were delivered with an uncommon phenomenon power of God. Rain did not quench the burning fiery furnace to deliver them, fierce wind did not douse the fire. The presence of the Merciful God was made manifest in the fire to transform the consuming power of fire to an unimaginable cool air conditioner. The king was humbled by this miracle and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25) The king eventually succumbed in humility to the divine power of God and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word … because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” (Daniel 3:28-29)
There are other captives that worth discussing under this topic. A sinner is a lawful captive of Satan. “… the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) “For the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23) In the process of seeking for easy wealth, many unwittingly made covenant with Satan in evil occultism organizations. In the process, they sold their souls to their captor, Satan, the archenemy of man. Many engaged in nefarious activities of whoredom, adultery and fornication, they got themselves trapped in the captivity of deadly and debilitating STD or other various fatal diseases. The craving of alcohol made many become lawful captives of the intoxicating liquid that damage the livers and other internal organ and send them to their early graves. Many have their minds imprisoned because of usage of the deadly drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl etc, and they become mentally deranged and destroyed. Sad enough, these deadly drugs are illegally manufactured in the basement laboratories of the criminals that are capitalizing on the innocence and ignorance of the consumers and mainly to the detriments of the clueless youth who were in quest of searching for the drug that can make them high.
Perhaps you find yourself in the captivity of the enemy as described above, do not attempt to deliver yourself by your physical strength, wisdom or ability. You need higher power greater than that of your enemy to be fully delivered. Point blank, you need the hand of compassion and mercy of God to deliver you. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16) “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds …” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) You must seek the face of God for forgiveness of your sins and plead with Him to redeem you. When God redeem you and defend you. He will write your new name in His book of life and by His spiritual adoption you will become His son or daughter.
Perhaps you have embraced salvation before, and you have tasted the sweetness of Christ but has now backslid through the unfortunate vicissitude of life, the word of God has come to you this day admonishing you saying, “Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said: “I WILL DWELL AMONG THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “So COME OUT FROM AMONG UNBELIEVERS AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord, “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor], And I will be a Father to you, And you will be My sons and daughters,” Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 AMP)
Beloved I have a good news for you. God is able, He is ready and He is available to “contend with him that contendeth with thee, and [He] will save thy children …” (Isaiah 49:25) if only you can permit Him to have His way in your life. If you can make Him your Father today, He will make you His son and daughter. He will protect you and render your enemies powerless and defeated.
Prayer: Oh Heavenly Father, I humbly invite you to take your rightful position in my heart and please Lord, have your way in my life. Heavenly Father, even if I am a prey or lawful captive in the hand of mighty, please deliver me by your uncommon and unstoppable power from the hands of my enemies. Arise in your awesome power and contend with those that contend with my soul and save me in your compassion and mercy in Jesus name, Amen.