Prisoners Are Delivered From Bondage

Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, “I never dreamed when I bu … More

Prison

In this passage the psalmist describes Israel’s condition. They were like a people who sit in prison. This confinement may be a result of the actual treatment of captives by the Babylonian and Assyrian soldiers. The cell is dark and the threat of execution hangs over them. They are condemned to “the shadow of death” because they have rebelled against the works of God (v. 10). They brought on this affliction through their rebellion against God and their scorn for His words (v. 11). You were worn out from working like slaves and no one came to help (v. 12). Sin had brought the nation to its deathbed. The economic, political, social and religious physicians as well as the liberal, conservative and scholastic physicians all tried their hand at doctoring the patient. However, the nation’s case grew steadily worse. Sin was at the root of the trouble, and none of those doctors could diagnose or prescribe a remedy.

In their deep distress the people once again began to cry out to the Lord. (There is no hint of prayer until then). And He saved them out of their distresses (v. 13). This was done by bringing them out of darkness and the shadow of death and removing their bonds from them (v. 14). This illustrates how man is not always healed by the skill of the surgeon but he is sometimes healed by the simple word of the Lord. Spiritually this is a perfect picture of salvation. The psalmist goes on to tell how a person who is rescued from either physical or spiritual sickness should praise the Lord (v. 15). He breaks down the gates and opens the locks (v. 16). Many were in terrible pain and some were almost dead because of their foolish sins but they prayed and were rescued (vv. 17-19). He restored them by healing them with His word (v. 20). We should praise the Lord and sing joyful songs to tell what He has done (vv. 21-22).

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distress” (v. 19). Trouble may come on us as a blessing in disguise, because it prompts us to seek God in earnest. 

Application

Man is still trying to doctor the ills of this world today as things grow steadily worse. Sin is still the root cause and only the Word of God will bring healing. That is why, if I want to stay out of the prison of sickness, I must make the Word of God a steady part of my daily diet.

Psalms 107:10-22 (English Standard Version)

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

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