Freedom! Psalm 107 part 1

Have you ever been reading the Word when something you have read before suddenly jumps out at you, God shines His light on it, and you gain a much deeper understanding of it? As I was reading Psalm 107 this morning, it was like I was reading it for the first time (even though it was underlined and starred already!)

Father, I pray for deep insight into the Word today. I pray You would fill me with a Spirit of wisdom and understanding. I pray that You would open the eyes of my heart.

Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
The whole psalm is a praise and thanksgiving psalm. But, it has sections of praise of different people, for different reasons. Verse 2 continues, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say this- those He redeemed from the hand of the foe…” As I continue to read the psalm, the foe or enemy can be either my own flesh, my own attitude and wrong motives, or the enemy of our soul, Satan. He can deceive us and lead us into areas of bondage.

The passage that I want to begin with is actually the second group of people in the psalm, but as I read it, it pierced my heart because I saw myself in this group, and so many other Christians. Verses 10-16: “Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel 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 and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.”

Wow! There is so much packed in just this passage! Let’s look at verse 10. How many of us have experienced “darkness” and “deepest gloom?” Others words that come to mind: despair, desperation…. How many times have I felt a “sadness” over me, sometimes not even sure why I was feeling that way? The next verse can explain it, “…for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.

Whew! I wonder how many times I have rebelled against God’s Word, thinking I should do something, but that it wasn’t what I WANTED to do at that time. Or, I have seen something in the Word, been convicted by His Holy Spirit, and just don’t want to give it up!!!!! Have I “despised the counsel of the Most High?” I was thinking of Proverbs. All through it, the writer of Proverbs will offer two ways- the way of the wise and the way of the fool- the way of good or the way of the rebellious. I thought of Proverbs 1-30-31, “…since they hated knowledge and did not CHOOSE to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes…” Oh, Lord, how many times have I gone my own way, eating the fruit of it????? And, how many times has this led me straight into bondage- “suffering in iron chains?”

Now, look at the next verse- “So HE subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.” The amplified says, “He bowed down their hearts…” Sometimes in my own rebellious stubbornness, God has to bow down my heart. One of my favorite verses in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans for hope and a future. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” But, do you know that God says that right before sending them in to captivity???? They had been following after idols and He wants to draw them back to His heart.

“…and there was no one to help.” Boy, does that strike a chord! Sometimes, in my stubbornness, I look to everything else in the world BUT God for help. Sometimes I will try to call every one of my friends on the phone, but God will make sure no one is home!!

Now watch this! The next verse says, “THEN they cried to the LORD in their trouble…” I know sometimes it takes me to be in trouble to THEN cry out to the Lord! It is only the trouble that finally breaks my rebellious heart! “And He saved them from their distress. AND LISTEN- He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.” Hallelujah! God doesn’t leave us in our darkness! He saves us from it! He sets us free! Listen to verse 16, “…for He breaks down the gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” Have you ever had bars of iron??? Thank God He has cut through the bars of iron around my stubborn heart! Praise Him!

In Luke 1:79, Zechariah prophesies about the coming of Jesus, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and has redeemed His people…. by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” And in Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” God's desire is to free us! He does not want us to be captives!

Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.”

Lord, I praise you! I thank you, God, that you don’t allow my heart to be rebellious. Thank you that “bow down my heart.” But, most of all, Lord, thank you that break down the gates I have put around my own heart, thank you for cutting through the bars of iron- the deception of the enemy, the desires of my flesh. Awesome God! Glorious God! Hallelujah! Praise you, God! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

2 thoughts shared....:

Laurie said...

Beautiful Tracy!

I was also blessed by verses 10-16.
A man in bondage to his sins can yet be saved..and why?? God's love for us is unfailing! He evens suffers long over us. How comforting..how can we not rejoice over the bridegroom?

One of many comforting scriptures I love in the New Testament is Hebrews 7:25.
(I hope that's right)

The verse paraphrased says; "He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God, for He is ever making intercessions on our behalf."

It's kinda funny, I was just thinking about Cain, asking God , "Am I my brothers keeper?" Well Jesus gladly is our "keeper"!

Thanks Tracy for visiting me at my blog..it was wonderful coming over here and reading through some of your posts as well.
I don't get on the internet very often these days so when I meet knew sisters in the Lord I am very blessed!

Have a blessed weekend!
Laurie

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

What a wonderful post! I'm so glad you found my site so I could find yours. God ways... always amazing!

I felt like as I read this, I was reading words from a kindred spirit, someone who is at that point where she is just longing, yearning to know more of God, broken by the conviction of the Spirit reading the living Word...

The only captive I long to be is to have my heart held captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ... otherwise I'll wind up miserable!

I'll certainly be back to visit again! I've bookmarked you in my favorites and look forward to getting to know you more:)