A Generation of Thieves

Jon Burgess

24Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior?
Who can demand that a tyrantlet his captives go?25But theLordsays,
“The captives of warriors will be released,
and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved.
For I will fight those who fight you,
and I will save your children."
Isaiah 49:24-25

This word from the prophet Isaiah must have seemed too good to be true. A generation born and brought up in Babylon being brought home to Israel seemed a dream to painful to hope for. Yet, here, the mighty warrior, the Redeemer God steps in to fight on their behalf. What they could not do, He can and will do. The mighty kingdom of Babylon was no match for the Mighty King of Israel! What had been stolen away would be restored- not just treasure and possessions, but children. Children born into slavery would now be free. Children who had everything stolen from them would take back what was rightfully there's through the righteousness of their God who fights on their behalf. The powers that held the children back would be the powers to set them free!

22This is what the SovereignLordsays:
“See, I will give a signal to the godless nations.
They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms;
they will bring your daughters on their shoulders.
23Kings and queens will serve you
and care for all your needs.
Isaiah 49:22-23

Pastor Gabe McDonald who lead our Youth and Young Adults Ministry at New Hope Manoa spoke at our youth camp last week. He told over a hundred teenagers that he had been praying and fasting and that God had given him a word for this generation. Everyone was taken by surprise when he declared with boldness, "You are a generation of thieves!" Everyone looked at each other and laughed nervously, not sure what to think. Then Pastor Gabe explained, "What the enemy has stolen from you will be restored. You will go into the enemies camp and through the authority of Jesus Christ, will take back everything that belongs to you." This word is exactly what God was speaking to His people in this passage- Purity, purpose, holiness, happiness, security, identity- the enemy can't hold it any longer. God Almighty is fighting on their behalf and when they fully surrender to Him they will walk in an authority like the Church has never seen. God is bringing our children home and our children are taking back what belongs to them! As I read over the hundreds prayer requests from the week of camps my heart broke to see the desperate state our young people are in:

"over the past few months I've been crying and trying to commit suicide. I want to stop but I just don't know how. I'm aksing Jesus if He can help me because I've been going through a lot of things and I just want God's help..." -camper

"I love to serve and worship Jesus. I just struggle with my thoughts and sometimes give in to tempatation and watch porn. I hate doing this and I have tried many times to stop once and for all and have not been successful and failed. It's like I stop for weeks and focus on God but this habit just creeps back in my life..." - camper

"God has shown himself to me so many times. During my darkest times even when I feel pain, I burst out with faith and everytime I believe and trust in God and be patient. God has his way ways of showing me, "Look I'm here." I'm so depressed it hurts..." - camper


Jesus, as I looked in the eyes of these young people last week at camp I see a desperation in their soul. Some of them shared how if they hadn't met You there they were going to end their lives when they returned home. I agree with the promise of Isaiah and the word You gave Gabe- This is a generation of thieves! What has been stolen will be restored! This will be a generation not interested in playing church but in being the church to a world that doesn't believe You are real! They will plunder what the enemy thinks is his! Young men and women with a Holy Spirit boldness that doesn't rely emotions but holds to the Word of God! A generation unashamed of the One in whom they believe! A generation of thieves who were once slaves to their craving's but are now consumed with a passion for Jesus!

Devotions for July 26

Isaiah 46,47,48,49
1 Peter 5

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