August 3, 2020
Freedom and Favor
The eyes of every-one in the synagogue were fastened on him. (Luke 4:18, NIV)
Friend to Friend
Long, long ago, royalty would send letters and packages with trusted servants, often having sealed their personal communications with wax and a signet ring. Before our current American postal system was in place, the Pony Express is how letters and packages got from place to place. Now, deliveries are not only physical, but can even be sent electronically.
I love deliveries. Doesn’t matter if they’re from Amazon, UPS, Fed Ex or the local pizza joint, I relish the transfer of goods that conveniently finds its way to my front door. Oh! And flowers! I love when flowers are delivered too! Although that very, very, very rarely happens around here as the hubs is not the romantic type. Oh, well!
Whether it’s a package I ordered online, a surprise gift from a friend, an email or personal text of encouragement, deliveries often give us cause for appreciation and a good ole’ celebration.
Psalm 114 is a poetic celebration about a delivery, albeit a different type. One where the mighty God of Israel delivered His people from captivity, oppression and slavery in Egypt.
Bound for 400 years, the Israelites were desperate for freedom.
Desperate for a land of their own.
Desperate for hope.
In eight short verses, the writer of Psalm 114 bursts with uncontainable joy about the work of our powerful Deliverer.
1 When Israel came out of Egypt,
Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
2 Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back;
4 the mountains leaped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
5 Why was it, sea, that you fled?
Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
6 Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
you hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool,
the hard rock into springs of water.
The God who stepped on the scene with His man Moses to bring about a new day of hope and redemption for His people.
The personal God who led with a cloud by day and pillars of fire by night.
The mighty God of all creation who held back the waters of the both the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21) and the Jordan to advance the cause of those whom He chose and dearly loved.
Psalm 114 showcases the powerful presence of a God who shows up in the midst of trying circumstances and brings help. Exposing a personal Savior who loves and chose us. Celebrating our God who is able to step into the natural and interrupt it with a supernatural response in order to magnify His own glory and to let those whom He loves experience the most wonderful of all deliveries. That of freedom.
In the early days of His earthly ministry, Jesus was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah while in a synagogue in Nazareth. He unrolled it and “found the place” where the following was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of every-one in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18)
Of all the deliveries that have ever been given and received on this incredible planet, none can compare to the special delivery of Jesus, who was and is our only hope for deliverance.
Lord Jesus, There is none like You! Thank You for the gift of grace. Thank You for releasing me from the chains of bondage and leading me to a place of freedom, sight and favor. I bless Your name, Jesus, and celebrate the power of Your presence in my life.
In Your Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Luke 4:14-30. What sticks out to you in this passage? Spend a few moments in responsive prayer.
If you enjoyed this post, you'll love the free 5-Day Psalm Challenge!
Studying the Bible is important to help you know and trust God more. It equips you with His power, presence, perspective and peace. It informs your emotions, increases courage, decreases doubt, and bolsters believing.
Take the FREE 5-Day Psalm Challenge! It will guide you on a compelling personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.
PS. Have you listened to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast yet? Hang out with Gwen and friends for fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, fold laundry, run errands or travel.