The eyes of every-one in the synagogue were fastened on him (Luke 4:20 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Long, long ago, royalty would send letters and packages with trusted servants, often having sealed their personal communications with wax and a signet ring. Before our current American postal system was in place, the Pony Express is how letters and packages got from place to place. Now, deliveries are not only physical, but can even be sent electronically.
I love deliveries. Doesn’t matter if they’re from Amazon, UPS, Fed Ex or the local pizza shop, I relish the transfer of goods that conveniently finds its way to my front door. And flowers! I love when flowers are delivered too! Although that very, very, very rarely happens around here as the hubs is not the romantic type. Oh, well!
Whether it’s a package I ordered online, a surprise gift from a friend, an email or personal text of encouragement, deliveries often give us cause for appreciation and a good ole’ celebration.
Psalm 114 is a poetic celebration about a delivery, albeit a different type. One where the mighty God of Israel delivered His people from captivity, oppression, and slavery in Egypt.
Bound for 400 years, the Israelites were desperate for freedom.
Desperate for a land of their own.
Desperate for hope.
In eight short verses, the writer of Psalm 114 bursts with uncontainable joy about the work of our powerful Deliverer. He concluded the tribute with a call to reverent response. “Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water” (Psalm 114:7-8 NIV).
He celebrated our God who stepped on the scene with His main-man Moses to bring about a new day of hope and redemption for His people.
The personal God who led with a cloud by day and pillars of fire by night.
The mighty God of all creation held back the waters of the both the Red Sea and the Jordan River to advance the cause of those whom He chose and dearly loved.
Psalm 114 showcases the powerful presence of a God who shows up in the midst of trying circumstances and brings help. Exposing a personal Savior who loves us and chose us. Celebrating our God who is able to step into the natural and interrupt it with a supernatural response. He does this in order to magnify His own glory and to let those whom He loves experience the most wonderful of all deliveries. That of freedom.
In the early days of His earthly ministry, Jesus was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah while in a synagogue in Nazareth. He unrolled it and “found the place” where the following was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of every-one in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:18-21).
Of all the deliveries that have ever been given and received on this incredible planet, none can compare to the special delivery of Jesus, who was and is our only hope for deliverance.
Lord Jesus, There is none like You! Thank You for the gift of grace. Thank You for releasing me from the chains of bondage and leading me to a place of freedom, sight and favor. I bless Your name, Jesus, and celebrate the power of Your presence in my life.
In Your Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What are some of the ways the Lord has delivered you in the past? Thank Him.
How can the freedom and hope of Jesus influence you in practical ways today?
Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.
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© 2022 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.
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Gwen, this Bible lesson from Luke is such a blessing!
Can’t imagine sitting in the ancient temple setting and watching Jesus proclaim His identity from the old scrolls! How powerful that must have been!
Yesterday, a pastor I listen to on-line made a comment regarding the state the world is in.
He said as Christians, and when we are asked ” why is there so much chaos, today?”; we need to remember, we are born from Adam’s family tree. When the world understands that change can only happen when we understand, that Jesus is our only Messsiah!
Praise Him for His loving kindness and grace for us all.
Oh, if only to have witnessed such a marvelous proclamation! But in my minds eye I can see it. What a surprise to those around! Great devotional today. By His grace, I am saved!
Gwen, thank you so much for the reminder of what it was like back in those days. Yes it would’ve been great to sit there and see him do all those miracles. I know how he loves cares for everyone he never partiality to anyone just to have that kind of love. I appreciate all the devotionals that you all share with us and help us grow in our spiritual walk. Thanks again
I have a prayer request pray for my daughter Aimee that she will experience that love of Jesus she knows him she knows all about him she has the knowledge. Pray that she will experience it in her heart not just head knowledge. thank you
What joy it is to celebrate the “power of his presence” in our lives that brings us hope and freedom! I can rest in the knowledge of his grace and mercy in my life on a daily basis. The storms of life, and the turmoil in the world cannot displace the hope and freedom I have in Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Gwen.
During that time, a visiting preacher to a synagogue would be given the floor. My guess is that Jesus was considered a guest. For when he declared that this day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears, the people were aghast! He was not accepted as a prophet because they knew him and his family. But being a prophet will invite persecution and rejection. They come with the territory. “And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”
Fast forward to the era of the apostle Paul, a visiting speaker should be accompanied with a letter from his home assembly. Though he is given the floor, also, he should have a letter. That is why the apostle penned, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand…”
The apostle John, a prophet of the LORD, makes reference to rejection even if a visiting brethren have a letter. That does not stop Satan from his dastardly deeds like he did through Diotrephes. “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not…”
So glad that Jesus paved the way and cleared the path for us of the same profession that follow in his foot steps. Glory to God!