“… To Let the Oppressed Go Free” –

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New born turtles racing to the ocean before they are eaten by scavenger birds and dogs – Trinidad 2016

Some people are free to move, free to live, free to make and spend money, but think and act like they are oppressed.  An oppressed mind is when a person is physically free, but emotionally frozen to think and live outside of the box they have determined is the only option they have.  For example, there are persons who suffer through chaotic, claustrophobic, crazy marriage.  They know their marriage is dangerous.  They know it is wearing them down.  They may or may not have sought counseling.  They have prayed for a release.  They may even hear the voice of God telling them “Now is the time to leave,” but in their fearfulness, their uncertainty, they remain in an oppressive situation.

In the history of the African American, men and women from the very introduction of slavery continued to push to be free.  The road has not been perfect, but 400 years later, we have an African American as president of the country.  I believe God has made this possible.  I believe that as a group African Americans have heard the prophecy as given to the Prophet Isaiah, and truly believed that it was the will of God that we might be free.

Isaiah 58: 6   Is not this the fast that I choose:

to loose the bonds of injustice,

to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,

and to break every yoke? [1]

 

Oppression knows no color.  From Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan to Nigeria to the Democratic Republic of Congo and even to the Philippines, we see examples of leaders and ethnic groups who hold the rod of abuse and torture over the heads of the people.  Oppression happens anytime a person or nation-state decides to sit on the will of the people and to constrict the democratic process.  The Prophet Isaiah preached the good news to the people of Israel during a difficult period in its history.  The good news preached to the people from the prophet was that God was aware of their suffering and prepared to engage in the process of liberation from oppression.  In like manner, God is still on the throne and prepared to assist you and me in the liberation of the world.

Isaiah 58: to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? [2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Who are the “Oppressed” in today’s world?
  2. How can a person be oppressed, but at the same time free?
  3. How does Jesus Christ make it possible for the oppressed to be free?

Prayer: Lord, I seek your freedom.  I pray today for people throughout the world who are in chains.  I pray for the prisoner.  I pray for the refugee.  I pray for those who are suffering torture, beheadings and crucifixion.  I also pray for those who are economically oppressed.  I pray for the person who does not have enough money to live a satisfying life.  I pray for the person who wants work, but cannot find work.  I pray today for the person who has pockets overflowing with money, but has not learned to live a happy, meaningful and fulfilled life.  Lord, I love the liberation that lives through your love.  Lord, my help begins with my hope in you.  The good news of your salvation has freed me from misery and depression.  Free us this day from hate.  Free us this day from mental enslavement to people and systems that are negative and destructive.  Free us this day so we might enjoy life as you have ordained that it might be.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 58:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 58:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.