“Surely oppression drives the wise into madness,” Ecclesiastes 7:7
Oppression is not an ordinary subject of conversation, nor one that we spend much time thinking about; but it has become a primary thought for me, which has grown to greater proportions of my thinking in the last three years. It came to a point just a few months ago ~ at the point of deliverance; and I have just begun to know what to write about this subject of which most are not aware. I am not speaking here of the new birth that is ours in Christ at conversion, but beyond this, to a realization of where we live, even as Christians, in the world today; in the deliverance from the spirit of oppression that pervades and rules this world.
The thought of oppression usually comes when we hear of the holocaust. Christians associate the word with the Israelites’ bondage in Egypt. In other countries beyond the United States we hear of oppression, but we don’t consider the idea of oppression as pertaining to our own lives. We live in a free country where we have the liberty to do what we want to do, go where we want to go, and say what we want to say. We can choose our own circle of friends and the sounds we want to hear, or we can choose isolation and silence. Either of our own choosing makes it seem as if we are free. But my purpose in writing on this subject is to make aware the truth that, in this world we are all under oppression. Until we are delivered from oppression we will not understand this truth. It is when we are free that we can look back and see where we were.
An example that comes to mind is that of the Pharisees, when Jesus opened the eyes of the man who had been blind from birth. Jesus had come to heal the sick of heart and to open the eyes of the blind. The Pharisees did not know that they were blind and so, could not be healed. They were unaware that they were oppressed and that they were oppressors.
My meditations in Galatians have helped to bring some thoughts together on this matter of oppression. Paul’s salutation to the churches in Galatia is “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age….” (Galatians 1:3) Who considers that we all live in this same evil age? This is the bad news of oppression; but the good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ is still delivering His people. He came once and for all time to save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”Psalm 9:9
Sin and Oppression
So, how are we associating sin with oppression? We shall attempt to show the twin effect of the two. Oppression can bring about sin; and sin can bring about oppression. It is a vicious cycle, but one that we need to understand. When we are delivered from the power of one we are delivered from the power of both. They both stem from the fallen nature of man. No one is exempt, no matter how free we think we are.
The extent of this matter, like many others that come to mind, cannot be covered in a single article. So far we have the biblical references that speak of oppression and deliverance from it. These alone are eye opening. Deliverance from oppression begins by definition, seeing where it began, where we are individually in the state of oppression, how it is perpetuated, how we are delivered, the reality of deliverance, and the deliverance of others.
We will end this introduction with the definition. (Mirriam-Webster)
- a. Unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power
b. Something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power
- A sense of being weighed down in body or mind
I welcome your comments. If there is interest I may share with other posts on this subject.
“In righteousness shalt thou be established:
thou shalt be far from oppression;
for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”
Dear Father, thank you for another blessed day of your grace and peace. We praise you for delivering us from the power of darkness and translating us into the kingdom of your dear Son. Let us with true freedom in Christ share this good news with those who are still in bondage. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.