A Refuge for the Oppressed

As a little boy to adolescence, the person that I saw as my constant protector was my brother, Damon. Even when he was not around, people often regarded me because of my brother. I enjoyed the benefit of his covering for a number of years. While he protected me from oppressive physical forces, he was rendered powerless against those mental, emotional and spiritual (m.e.s.) forces that waged war constantly against me. It was those forces that caused me to loath the bad times in my life. Those times overshadowed the positive good times. I wanted an escape, but I had no way out. I knew I needed protection from m.e.s., but I no benefactor. Life was almost hopeless until I met Jesus.

After meeting Jesus, I no longer felt the urge to remove myself from this world in order to escape m.e.s. Now, I had one who contended for me. Now, I had one who gave me peace for He Himself is my peace.  Over the past couple of days, I have been unable to post what I have heard from God. I have spent time reading the book of Micah. In particular, I read a portion of chapter 7 that struck me in my core. Listen as you read it.

18 Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
    and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
    in days long ago.

I was stopped in my tracks after verse 18. It asks a rhetorical question (Who is a God like you), but then answers it in part. As you know, we will spend eternity learning about the character, ability and awesomeness of God. Consequently, we cannot fully answer the question, but we know enough that no one is like God despite our failures to recognize who He is many times in our lives.  We know that there is no other God except Jehovah.  In Isaiah 45:22, God says, “22 “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

By the grace of God, He turned me to Him. That’s how I was able to escape my m.e.s. He wants to be that for all of mankind. Listen to what He says in Psalm 9:9-10

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

What are you oppressed about? What is exercising power over you in a cruel or burdensome way? God wants to free you from it.  He says, “29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30  For several months now, I have had the challenge of exercising my faith in believing that financial, vocational and relational forces were oppressing me. All God continued to tell me was “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Don’t fear. Trust God. He will lead you. There is no God like my God, Jehovah.


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