Years ago chained prisoners would be forced to work on roadside projects. Wearing ball and chain or other hardware that blocked any thought of escape, we would see them toiling in the sun.
However, there is another kind of bondage -- with irons that are not visible, yet much more dangerous. Turn in the Bible to Psalm 116. Here is an outburst of thanksgiving where the Psalmist praises God for setting him free -- really free. The expression he uses means "deliverance."
The entire Psalm 116 is alight with praise for that deliverance, but let's take verses 7 through 9 for a closer look. See verse 7 where the writer talks to himself -- ordering himself to rest, and how good that is because God deals so bountifully with us!
Next he testifies to all that God has done in setting him free as a person -- through a three-fold deliverance. What a bountiful release it is! Can you give this testimony:
- "For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death." Imagine complete freedom from the great bondage to the fear and dread of death! Death is the punishment for sin, so when Adam originally sinned, he was immediately sentenced to death in his mind and heart; therefore, he died on the spot in his character, and finally his body was buried in the grave. Now study Hebrews 2 and see how great is our victory over death. But that is not all --
- "Lord, you have delivered...my eyes from tears." The word "tears" here stands for life's sorrows, griefs, heartaches, dark threats, and the like. God Himself is pictured in this Psalm drying our tears. (And He uses no cheap Kleenex!)
- "Lord, you have delivered...my feet from stumbling." "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." Psalm 119:165