Monday, April 25, 2005

The Redeemed: Rebels in Captivity

Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
  Bound in affliction and irons —
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
  And despised the counsel of the Most High,
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
  They fell down, and there was none to help.
(Psalm 107:10-13)
These are those who rebelled against the Word of God (which is to rebel against God Himself) and ended up, not in freedom and pleasure as they had supposed, but in bondage and affliction. They despised the counsel of God, which would have flooded them with life and light, and ended up in darkness instead. They did not bow down before God, so they were made to bow beneath the weight of oppressive burdens much too heavy for them. It is no mystery why, given the road they chose, this should be the fate they would meet. But how is it that they have now become the Redeemed of the LORD?
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
  And He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
  And broke their chains in pieces.
(Psalm 107:13-14)
The grace and mercy of God is so great that even when we turn to Him in our rebellion, deep in the trouble of our own making, from rock bottom, He hears and responds to our cry. Faith, taking God at His Word, always pleases Him, even at the last, and whoever calls on His name shall be saved. He brings us out of darkness — not in chains, for He completely destroys those — but into the light of His freedom.

Rebels turned and cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and so they were redeemed.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
  And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He has broken the gates of bronze,
  And cut the bars of iron in two.
(Psalm 107:15-16)
Here is the goodness of God expressed again, in powerful signs and wonders. He destroys the chains of bondage, tears down the gates of captivity and breaks through the mightiest strongholds. Give Him praise!

Have you been in rebellion and gotten yourself into trouble? God does not expect you to be your own savior. Turn to Him now — it is not too late. Call on His name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will gladly bring you out.