“Many times He delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. Yet He took note of their distress when He heard their cry; for their sake He remembered His covenant and out of His great love He relented,. He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy. Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations that we may give thanks to Your holy name and glory in Your praise.” (Psalm 106: 43-47 NIV)
On an individual level–personal and unique to each of us--how many times has The Lord delivered us and in our rebellion, we turned again to do that from which we had been delivered?
And though this passage specifically referred to the Children of Israel with whom the covenant was made, does it not yet apply to “Spiritual Israel,” all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior? Every nation who has within its boundaries, Believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, is now Spiritual Israel and so this passage speaks to every born-again Believer.
What has held us captive? Some have been held captive to addictions–drugs, alcohol, sex, prolific lying, stealing, abusive behaviors, and all manner of things which keep us in need of a Savior. Some are held captive by people–chained by ideologies that have never worked and yet people keep trying to instill them or beat people over the head with them. Some are literally held captive at the whim of sadistic people who think they have a right to do whatever they wish to other people. Some could say America is being held captive by elected officials who either don’t right from wrong or don’t care. This is especially sad when many proclaim to know our Risen Savior, but don’t have to a clue as to how to uphold The Word in all they do.
Some are held captive by spouses who use manipulation and threats to control.
And some of us are held captive by fear and doubt–we don’t know how to move forward and don’t have the courage or boldness to seek methods of setting ourselves free–through The Word and obeying Holy Spirit.
How on earth can we expect to see others delivered when we need deliverance? Can those in prisons–locked behind bars–help others to break free when they are not free? Can a drug addict assist another to break the chain of addiction when their own chains are tightened every time they use? Can a spouse (in particular a husband) try to teach someone else how to treat a wife when they haven’t learned how to treat their own? Can a preacher instill living a holy life, according to God’s Word, when they haven’t figured out to live–openly, without fear of disgrace or shame because of their own actions?
It is time–long past time–for the church–The Body of Christ–to get its act together–living according to The Word–and seeing deliverance in the church! We cannot expect to see shackles fall off others when we the chains that bind us, get tighter every day we refuse to repent and relent–totally submitting to God. And this is why the world is in the shape it’s in because those who proclaim to know Christ are not living Christ-like lives and so those who don’t know Him, are confused by what we say when it doesn’t match what we do.
“Let all God’s people say, Amen!”
Now that we agree that we need to do something about the condition of the world–our nation, our neighborhoods, our communities, our families, our society, however we see it–let’s get off our butts and do something about it. We’ve prayed, now it’s time for action for prayer without action is totally pointless. Save us Lord!