Friday, November 16, 2018

There Is Hope in Satan’s Prison

You have set me in the lowest Pit, in the darkest of depths.
Your burning anger pressed upon me.” 
Psalm 88:6–7a

You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
Psalm 86:13b

If you have done wrong and find yourself a prisoner of the LORD’s displeasure and justice, there is hope, for He is merciful and quick to forgive.  He does not despise you (Ps. 69:33), and He is eager to forgive and set you free (Ps. 146:7).  On the other hand, if you have persisted for so long in a self-willed sin that you have fallen into “the snare of the Devil” and “have been taken captive to his will,” your hope is a little dimmer, for Satan “does not open the house of his prisoners” (2Tim. 2:26; Isa. 14:17).
God gladly releases His prisoners, but Satan never willingly releases his.  To be delivered from Satan’s prison, you must receive special intervention and grace from God because, in truth, He is the One who gave you over to Satan’s power in the first place.  In other words, once God has been so provoked that He has handed you over to Satan, you must find a way to regain His favor, and that can be very difficult to do, depending on the circumstances.  Nevertheless, since God is the one who turns the rebellious over to Satan, the rebellious are still His prisoners although they are consigned to Satan’s prison.
For Israel’s stubborn resistance to God’s will, He severely punished them.  Along with burdening them with heathen domination for centuries, He unleashed myriads of unclean spirits on the land and its people.  However, in His time and wonderful grace, He sent His Son to set Israel free from the physical and spiritual afflictions that God had laid upon them.  Isaiah foretold of God doing this, and in Jesus’ first sermon in his hometown synagogue, he read aloud Isaiah’s prophecy declaring that the foretold time had come:

Luke 4
17. And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him.  And when he had unrolled the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
18. “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach liberty to those held captive, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send the oppressed away free,
19. to preach the acceptable year of the LORD.”
20. And when he had rolled up the scroll and handed it to the attendant, he sat down.  And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21. Then he said to them, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

God is so good!  We still have hope, even if we are in Satan’s prison, for God does not want any of us to perish.  May we never provoke God’s wrath to the point that He turns us over to the power of that wicked warden, but even if that happens, there is hope, for God is good.
Don’t ever let yourself go that far.  Don’t burn a bridge that Jesus has built for you; at some point, if God grants you repentance in your prison cell, you will look for that bridge to get you back home.

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