Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Power To Set Us Free

“Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. 
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” (Psalm 107:10-16 NIV)

There is a poignant scene in the movie, “Invictus,” about the beginning of Nelson Mandela’s term as president of South Africa, where Matt Damon’s character is visiting Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years.  He is standing in Mandela’s tiny cell, the iron door shut with arms outstretched almost touching the walls, trying to imagine being confined there for so long.  There was no way of escape. Only then-President de Klerk could free Mandela.

Prisons, by default, are built to prevent escape; thus, heavy metal doors and bars are always used.  The only way prisoners can gain their freedom is to be released by a higher authority.  

Most of us, hopefully, will never spend a day in a physical prison, but there are many of us who are imprisoned nonetheless—held captive by addictions, the after effects of emotional or physical abuse, our own neediness, spiritual blindness, or by a particular sin.  And for those of us aware of our captivity, it may seem hopeless.  We may have tried many times to escape, but to no avail.  Yet, there is hope!  The Lord can free us.  

The Psalmist is re-telling the story of the Israelites, how when they rebelled against the Lord, He allowed them to be imprisoned. Desperate to be set free, they cried out to God and He responded. The Psalmist uses this story to draw a broad conclusion about the Lord: “He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” We serve a God who can set us free, no matter how secure our prison seems to be.  

Today, if you find yourself held captive by something, cry out to God knowing He is able to set you free.

© Jim Musser 2015

No comments: