Oppression

“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies
And of the son of man who is made like grass,
That you have forgotten the LORD your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor,
As he makes ready to destroy?
But where is the fury of the oppressor?
“The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking.
“For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name).
“I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ” (Isaiah 51:12-16)

Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last! God pointed out a contrast for the Israelites, a contrast between their perception of things and the reality of those things. Where they cringed in fear before their oppressors, God wondered why. Had they forgotten that their oppressors were merely human? Humans who were weak and mortal? But, the Israelites would likely have pointed out, that description of the oppressors fit them as well.

But God went on and reminded them that it wasn’t just them, mere humans who might oppose their oppressors. God was part of the mix, and that’s always a game changer. God reminded his people that he would, indeed, release them from their captivity in Mesopotamia. Those who oppressed them would not keep them from eating. They would not die in dungeons. Everything really would be okay because the same God who had created the universe was the God who was standing with them.

It is so easy, in the midst of hard times, to lose sight of reality: we are God’s children, created in Christ Jesus, who will spend an eternity with him in paradise. From the perspective of eternity, any troubles in our temporary, temporal existence are microscopic.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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