“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness” (Exodus 5:1).
Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. He was born in the land of Tarsus as a freeborn Roman citizen. He was in bondage to no man. He was free to grow and thrive as a successful citizen with an open mind to learn the traditions of his Jewish heritage. Yet, being free, he found himself in bondage to ritualistic practices that tried to steal away the purpose that God had for his life.
No doubt, the most notable Gamiliel would have had him to stay in his school and grow to become an automated, man-made, religious teacher.
But God said, “No! I’ve called thee from thy mother’s womb to reveal my grace in thee. I’ve called thee to be a bond servant to me.”
God then told Brother Ananias in the book of Acts:
“And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth” (Acts 9:11).
Ananias then went as an ambassador for the Lord Jesus to tell the enemy to Let God’s Servant Go. Paul received the Holy Ghost and was then raised up by the Lord to make known the Great Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Book of Exodus, we have a similar principle at work within the lives of the children of Israel. After they had been shown much favor by the Egyptian Pharaohs because of the God of their forefather Joseph; new leaders arose in the land. These leaders began to rule God’s people with a rod of iron, laying heavy burdens on them. Hard taskmasters led them.
When the cup of bondage had reached to the fullest, God rose up a deliverer in the land; as God has always done for His people. Moses was sent to tell Pharaoh: Let My People Go, so they can go into the wilderness and serve Me.
Pharaoh’s heart was hardened; and because of his rebellion, God brought desolation on the Nation of Egypt. Judgment fell on all who did not have the blood applied to the doorposts of their homes. On that great night, to always be remembered as a memorial throughout all generations, the children of Israel were led into freedom from the hands of that vessel which was fitted for destruction, even Pharaoh, ruler of Egypt.
Bondage is no easy burden to endure. It brings much grief and sorrow that so many times can even be inflicted by well-meaning people.
Bondage is a word that can be understood by a man in prison. He is in bonds. The prison house creates a very painful situation. You’re locked away from family, friends, and even the life that you so deeply want to enjoy. But because of the bars of iron, you don’t get to experience these blessings of God. In prison you have so much pain locked up within the hearts of men, who just need a man with a heart of compassion like Jesus to reach out to their need; but so many times we get caught up in our own agenda and fail to see the needs of others.
This is the sole purpose of the House of Hope Prison Ministry; to minister hope to prisoners. This is not just hope of freedom from the bars of iron; but more importantly, to minister hope of freedom from the chains that wrap around our hearts, holding us in bondage to the cares of this life. Jesus said the Spirit of the Lord rested upon Him; the Lord anointed Him to preach the Good Tidings unto the meek. God sent Him to bind up the broken hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the Acceptable Year of the Lord.
May we always be mindful of our message. That it is a message of liberation and not bondage. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. We don’t want to be the reason why another man can’t seem to break free from the bondage of self-serving life. If we are speaking the great message of the Gospel of freedom from sin, and living a life that shows the Word has quickened our lives, the enemy will have to Let God’s People Go.