This grand scale liberation is a sign of the Messianic era:
"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
and the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not."
But when did the Lord set free the prisoners? We are free are we not? When were we ever held captive, and by whom?
"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."
(John 8:34). The Lord's people were
held in bondage:
"But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." (Isaiah 42:22).
. . .and He came to set them free.
Eyes of the Blind
Isaiah gives signs of the times, showing how people will recognize the advent of their God:
"Say to those who are fearful-hearted, 'Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.' Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert." (Isaiah 35:4-6).
"And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." (Isaiah 29:18-19).
Which is why, when the disciples of John the Baptist inquired who Jesus was, He drew their attention to these very signs, then being shown right before their eyes: "Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see:
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."
(Matthew 11:4-6); "When the men had come to Him, they said, 'John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, "Are You the Coming One,
or do we look for another?"' And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'"
"I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. . .And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them,
and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:6-16).
Who but God gives sight to the blind?:
"So the LORD said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?'" (Exodus 4:11).
As with captivity, there are two senses to blindness. Some are blind because the opacity of their eyes will not allow entry to the
physical light. Jesus healed these weak and ailing ones. Others say, 'we see,' but are enveloped in darkness. Some seek out the darkness through affinity, "And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?. . . Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?
Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood: Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?"
(Job 22:13-17). All labor under darkness, unless enlightened: "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. . ."