Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bible Study - God Takes Sides With The Oppressed

God takes sides with the oppressed

Isaiah 9vs 1-4; and Matthew 4vs 12-17

Change is in the air. Hope is our message. It is those in bondage who, understand and appreciate liberation, the abused who rejoice for their freedom and the dying who are glad for being brought to life. Hope is theirs because the promise stands. Jesus came to liberate, to free and to bring back life in its abundance. When Jesus started his ministry he read from the scriptures that:

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4vs 18-19)

God takes sides with the poor, the oppressed and the troubled. The people who inhabited the land of Zebulun and Naphtali had been experiencing gloom and anguish for a long time. The message of Isaiah the prophet was that for those who walked in darkness great light should come. It did not matter how dark it was light would shine. Their joy was to be increased. The best done for them was the breaking of the yoke of their oppressor by God. The prophet encouraged them to rejoice because God kept his promise.

The same people of Zebulun and Naphtali take centre stage again when Jesus began his ministry in the New Testament. The prophecy of Isaiah was now being fulfilled. God does not only fulfill the prophecy but he goes on through Christ to preach the good news. Jesus Christ challenges the people to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

What we learn from the scriptures above is that God does not only keep his promise he also maintain his challenge. We live in times of gloom and anguish and God is very much aware of our condition. He is in the process of liberating us and joy is waiting for us. We will only benefit from his promise when we mend our ways. Pharaoh's heart was hardened for a purpose,for God to demonstrate his power.

Many of us have looted what did not belong to us. A number live in houses they never built or bought. Some of us have received things we never paid for or will pay for. Joy is eluding us because we are haunted by what we have done. If we want everlasting joy we have to repent. We have to give back what we have looted. We have to mend our ways. There will be no peace in the hearts of those who are guilty.

Jesus said, “I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10 vs 10). Abundant life is enjoyed by those who have free conscience. To continue like we never wronged anyone is not healthy. The promise of hope stands for those who are prepared to repent and to correct their ways. Many a derailed people are roaming our streets while others are haunted in their villages by their acts which they did in their moments of madness. This nation will be at peace when we have come open and have disclosed what we did. We have cheated, we have killed and we have stolen. We can only live the promise once we have repented

There is no sin so big that God cannot forgive, in one instance God challenged man to come to him even if his sins were as many and dark he was prepared to make them as white as snow. Christ is our hope. The only thing we should do is to admit that we have wronged others. We need to repent and be saved or we perish in our sins. The promise stands. God bless.

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