Speaker: Lukus Counterman - This section of Isaiah was written for the people of Judah who had been taken captive to Babylon. They were stripped of their possessions, removed from their homeland, and humiliated as captives. After trudging through the dirt of exile, they had to transition into a pagan culture. They moved and were setting up life in a different place. The major problem was that they were relationally distant from their God. The temple had been destroyed and they had long ignored the word of the Lord. I think you get a picture of where the people were at if you look at Isaiah 42. In (v. 18) they are called “deaf” and “blind,” In (v. 22) they are described as “a people plundered and looted… all of them trapped in holes.” The people of Judah were like (v. 18) “plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say ‘Restore!’” Judah was discouraged and beyond that, they felt disenfranchised. Their lives had deteriorated to a pile of smoldering firebrands. They were spent and used with nothing in themselves. They were coals raked over and spread in the dirt, left to dwindle and die out. Many probably wondered if beauty could ever rise from such piles of ash? Into that situation God revealed himself, made promises of goodwill to his people, and clarified their purpose in life.