Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, February 17, 2014
THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION AND RESCUE
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…Colossians 1:13
The imagery of God’s intervention in the suffering of the Israeli’s in Egypt recorded in Exodus 3:7-8 has captured the imaginations of many oppressed people. For example, African-American believers see a strong parallel between American slavery and the bondage of the Jews in Egypt and God’s personal and powerful exodus rescue of His people.
New Testament writers saw a powerful parallel with our sinful, lost, human condition and God’s redemption through the sending of His only Son who “pitched his tent” among us and purchased our salvation with His shed blood. For example, in Colossians 1:13, the Apostle Paul states it clearly. We have been “rescued from” Satan’s dark domain and “brought into” the kingdom of God’s Son.
The Exodus passage also brings great hope to persecuted Christians today. God has feelings. He cares. He sees. He hears. He knows. He’s concerned. And in His time, He rescues! The mystery of this rescuing action is God’s timing. Galatians 4:4 tells us it was when “the time had fully come” that God sent His Son to redeem us. We saw two days ago that the Israelis waited hundreds of years for deliverance from oppression in Egypt and entrance to the promised land while “the sins of the Amorites reached full measure” (Genesis 15:16). God alone sees the end from the beginning. We wait for His timing in His promise of coming down to rescue us.
Iranian Christian leader, Mehdi Dibaj, spent over nine years in prison for his faith as a believer from Muslim background. He was emotionally prepared to die a martyr’s death. His day was indeed to come. In late 1993, he was tried on charges of apostasy (from Islam) after being a Christian for over forty years. He made his own defence and used his written statement to share his commitment to Jesus Christ. In early 1994, he was sentenced to execution. There was a great international outcry when the news of Mehdi Dibaj's scheduled execution was publicized. Suddenly on January 16, 1994, the Teheran government released Mehdi Dibaj from prison and denied it had sentenced him to death for converting from Islam to Christianity over forty years earlier.
It was a great day of rejoicing for the believers in Iran. When Mehdi Dibaj first met with them, their immediate response was to burst into song, “In the name of Jesus, we have the victory!” Even TIME magazine reported the release under the title “Answered Prayers.” Yet in God’s perfect timing, this man who had experienced God’s rescue multiple times was martyred by vigilantes after six months of freedom from prison.
RESPONSE: Today I will acknowledge God’s timing is best for me as I await His rescue.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for my deliverance from the kingdom of darkness to Your kingdom of light through Your Son, Jesus.