God longs to reconcile and redeem us through His loving ways. Yet much like Hosea’s unfaithful wife Gomer, we have chosen to prostitute ourselves and rebel against God. We choose to celebrate “stuff” instead of our Savior. We get stuck in our past instead of embracing His perfect presence. Oppression can often rule over us, and all we want is for someone, anyone to come and save us so we can cross into the promised land on a dry riverbed, and experience true freedom.Freedom can feel like a far away land, but Jesus came to set us free. Click To Tweet
Many times we act like the Israelites, bound by the oppression of the Egyptians for 400 years, and instead of experiencing true freedom, we wander in the desert, longing for the comfort of those heavy chains once again. We complain about what we don’t have, and even though we are free, we live in bondage to our thoughts, we live in service to our unseen masters. We try to remove the chains, but are so used to the weight it’s hard to experience the light.
Christ came to break the bonds that tie us up. He came to buy us back over and over, just like Hosea, forgiving us and wooing us into deeper dependence upon our God who constantly is redeeming us from our bondage.
In Matthew 2:13-15 we are reminded of God’s love for us in all things, in that God works everything together for the good of those who love Him. He goes so far as to even redeem the country, Egypt, who had oppressed His people for so many years. Here we find out that an angel has called Mary, Joseph and the baby back to Egypt for Jesus‘ safety, while Herod is out to destroy this new King. A place of oppression becomes a safe harbor, and I can’t help but wonder if God has called us back to a place of oppression with the goal of redeeming our deep places of hurt?
Reminders of God’s faithfulness shatters the shackles of oppression.
Recently, I returned to a place of oppression, an Egypt in my life. I had been diagnosed with an illness and felt rejection and hurt by people in this place because of their response to my diagnosis. I was fearful and uncertain of God’s plan but felt compelled to go back in obedience. I knew, through His Word, God was faithful and able to heal my hurts. I allowed scripture to penetrate and soften my heart and soul and returned to the church. As I walked through the doors, I began to feel God’s love cover me and heal my wounds from the chains that had held me so tight for almost a decade. The fear subsided and instead of coiling inward, I began to lift my hands to Him who had loved me enough to heal my hurt ..to the One who is able to heal all of our hurts.The Lord longs to heal our hurts, but hardened hearts harbor hopelessness. Click To Tweet
Christ has redeemed us from bondage, friend. As a baby He came to live a perfect, sinless life and buy us all back from a yoke of slavery through His death on a cross… the gift of freedom is now ours for eternity, but have we returned to the hurt in order to experience the healing? God is bigger than our fears, and if we let Him, He will speak blessing into our lives as we obey Him as our authentic Master.
Have we opened this awesome gift of freedom in Christ, or are we continuing to live bound up? His ways are higher than our ways. His Holy Word is filled with His faithful promises to uphold each of us by His righteous right hand. This advent may we reach out our hands and allow the chains to fall off, finding hope in the journey that will bring healing to your heart.
Lord, we praise You for redeeming our hurts and turning them into hopes. God you live to buy us back from the bondage, but so often we remain in that place of hopelessness and fear. God thank you that Jesus came to bring us into your presence so we can experience hope once again. In Your Holy Name, Amen