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January 30 – Powerless enemy

“Your cords hang loose; they cannot hold the mast firm in its place or keep the sail spread out. Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided; even the lame will take the prey.” – Isaiah 33:23 

Scripture reading: Romans 8:31-39

Isaiah returns with a final description of the Assyrians. It is a final rebuke against the pride of man. Like sailors vainly attempting to re-position the mast of a ship against forceful winds, so the Assyrians will attempt to withstand the judgments of God in vain.

By contrast, God’s people will divide abundant “spoil.” Whatever treasures would be aboard that “ship” would be plundered, and plundered easily. The Assyrians will be left so helpless and destitute that even the lame will be able to limp in, take their treasures and safely limp away.

In another analogy with a similar meaning, Jesus speaks of “binding the strong man”; that is, in His earthly ministry He was taking spoil from the kingdom of Satan. All His teaching and healing was proving the powerlessness of the enemy. God’s people were being healed and delivered!

The message to us once again is: do not be afraid. Because of Christ and His blood shed for you, God is for you and not against you. No enemy is more powerful than God’s love for you in Christ, because Christ is the One Who died and Who was raised, and is at God’s right hand interceding for you!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for His great love in Jesus Christ. Praise God for His wisdom and power in defeating the powers through the weakness of the cross of Christ.

Rev. Todd De Rooy currently serves in Redeemer URC, in Orange City, Iowa. He has served there since being ordained in 2008. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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