Escape From Captivity
by Jesse L. Smith
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The life of a slave is harsh and unfortunate, where the wealth generated from all your labor goes to the one who drives you with the whip every day. Like a dumb animal forced into action for the benefit of its owners, the slave’s only reward is the chance to exist for another day of service. The situation is even worse when the masters of the slaves are sadistic racists who rejoice in their power to exploit and control their property with impunity. For those who have previously known the joy of freedom, many would rather choose death than to be subject to such conditions. For Israel the life of slavery was all they knew, as generations lived and died under the whip of a hateful society for over 400 years. God however saw the suffering of Israel and was grieved in his heart for them, and sent a deliverer who would save the people from the cruelty of Egypt.
Some 1400 years later Jesus opened up the book of Isaiah and read an ancient prophecy of the coming messiah, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” –Isaiah 61:1 Jesus let the people know that He was that deliverer, and that through Him they would be set free. The people didn’t understand Him – after all they were no longer slaves in Egypt and had some measure of freedom as a nation. They answered, “We are Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how do you say, you shall be made free?” Jesus’ answer struck a chord with the people, and revealed a spiritual truth that they didn’t understand before, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin.” –John 8:34
The people didn’t understand that everything that happened in Egypt so long ago was designed of God to foreshadow the coming of the Messiah as a deliverer. God used the physical circumstances of Israel in slavery to paint a picture of our spiritual reality and need for a deliverer. Instead of being ruled by the King of Egypt, we are ruled by the god of this world Satan – who through sin has title and ownership rights over us. Just like Pharaoh King of Egypt, Satan is interested in maintaining control over his property and scripture tells us, “…the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” -2 Corinthians 4:4
Just as Egypt and its rulers hated Israel and used them for their own benefit, Satan is like a parasite of humanity that hates and exploits them for his own benefit. Without the Power of a deliverer, we are all slaves in a wicked empire of fallen spiritual forces. Jesus spoke of him saying, “The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” –John 10:10 Like the people of Israel most of us have never experienced freedom and don’t realize what it is like to be free from spiritual bondage. Also like them, even if we desired to be free we have no power on our own to deliver ourselves. Just as Moses came to deliver Israel from an evil earthly kingdom, Jesus came to deliver us from the power of Satan so that we could serve God in freedom. Instead of exploiting us and taking our life away, Jesus wants to give us life.
The power of the Lord Jesus is still available to break the chains of bondage off the lives of whoever will believe on His name. God knows that we have no ability to free ourselves from the addictions and lusts that have ruled us in the past, but JESUS is still proclaiming liberty to the captives today. There is nothing more beautiful than freedom, and the price of our freedom was paid for in the blood of our Savior. Once you have been set free, why would you want to go back into bondage? The same Power that broke our chains is able to keep them off, and the Apostle Paul exhorted us, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith you have been set free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” –Galatians 5:1
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Stand fast therefore in the liberty ... and be not again entangled ... Oh yes Jesse, thank you for this precious reminder that indeed our Lord is able to deliver and maintain our freedom from bondage. My soul rejoices in this refreshing passage. The Lord bless you.