Oppress Them Or Else

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“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. (Exodus 1:9-11)

Very early in The Great Story of God and His people we see a systematic symptom at work. Fear of what a person’s/group’s freedom will result in leads to oppression and convincing that person/group that their identity is “slave”. Oppress them or else their freedom might inconvenience us, weaken us, be our undoing. This is how the worldly power of Egypt treated Israel. This is how the evil one and his demons work in the lives of free children of God still today. We feel as though we have to keep throwing off the chains when Christ has already set us free! Take heart, child of God, when you hear that voice say you’ll never be free, when you feel those forces seeking to oppress and keep you down. It means the enemy’s fear is great. It means the truth is that much greater than the lie. Sing these words with a holy boldness:

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.”
– “And Can It Be,” Charles Wesley, 1738