True Prosperity Follows Obedience to God – Isaiah 48:12-22
In this passage, the prophecy of Isaiah speaks to the freedom and prosperity that the Judean captives would enjoy in the days to come. Using the name of Jacob in addressing the captives God speaks to their past when they lived outside of His will, but now addressing them as Israel reminds them that a better future awaits. The words spoken by the prophet notes that the God of all creation stood ready to deliver them from captivity and that His chosen one would succeed in his divinely appointed mission.
Cyrus, the Persian king, would be God’s chosen one to deliver His people from their Babylonian captivity. However, he was only a foreshadow of God’s Ultimate Deliverer, Jesus Christ. Cyrus did indeed set the captives free from their physical bondage, but one’s ultimate freedom and prosperity can only be truly established in the spiritual liberation provided by belief in and acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior.
In our present-day society, many are seeking freedom and prosperity via the acquisition of wealth, recognition, fame, social status, and whatever other means that they envision as satisfying the longing of their inner self. The four-letter word self could be given a spiritual designation, the epitome of sin. Selfishness tends to negate one’s abilities and opportunities to fulfill God’s mandate to honor Him and to love all humanity.
God’s words to the captives via Isaiah stated that He was their Redeemer, the One who teaches what was best for them, and the One who directs in the way that they should go. He goes on to note that paying attention to His commands would bring peace like a calm river excursion and a wealth of well-being as plentiful as the waves of the ocean. If we today would follow the commands of God, we would enjoy the freedom and prosperity that others fail to grasp because of their entrapment by the allure of wealth and/or fame. True freedom and prosperity can only be found in obedience to God Almighty.