"You have to pay the ransom!" My then five-year-old son screamed at his sister. He had taken her doll from her and was holding it for ransom. I had no idea he even knew that word, let alone understood what it meant! So I asked him, "What does ransom mean?" "Mommy," he drawled, 'it means you hafta pay to get it back." "Oh. And what is sisue supposed to pay to get her baby back?" "She hafts to pay me one piece of candy!" Sisue paid the price, got her doll back, and all was well in pretend land once more!
Like my daughter's babydoll, we have been held captive. The ransom for our freedom was more than any of us could pay. But God. God paid the ransom for us with the lifeblood of His Son. We can be thankful that Jesus paid our ransom.
In Psalm 56, David has fled to Gath to escape Saul. He was not accepted there and was afraid for his life again. 1 Samuel 21:13 says David pretended to be insane in order to excape King Achish and his men. David wrote this Psalm as a prayer to God. He is pleading with God to ransom him from three things. Each section ends with the declaration:
"I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?"
In verses 1-4 David is asking for God's mercy. He recounts how his foes are constantly after him. The NLT says they are "hounding" him. We have an enemy who hounds us day and night. Satan is constantly fighting against us. Jesus said he comes to kill, steal, and destroy all who believe in Jesus. (John 10:10) Paul proclaimed to the church at Colosse:
"For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins." Colossians 1:13-14
Like David, we must plead for God's mercy in our fight against the enemy. We must ask Him to ransom us from death into life. Jesus said:
"I tell you the truth, those who listen to My message and believe in God who sent Me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." John 5:24
We can be thankful God ransoms us from death.
The second section of Psalm 56 finds David pleading with God to ransom him from his enemy's plots against him. While he was in Gath David was under constant surveillance. King Achish's men kept close watch on David to ensure he didn't raise an army and fight against their king. Our enemy has us under constant surveillance too.
Have you ever heard the saying, "You've got a target on your back"? When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and begin living for Him, it is as if Satan has drawn a big bulls-eye on our backs. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul warns us about Satan's temptations:
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
We can be thankful God ransoms us from Satan's plots against us.
The final verses tell us why David wanted to be ransomed. He wanted to be ransomed in order to keep his vows to God and praise Him. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we make a vow to Him. We vow to live our lives in service to Him. We vow to be faithful to Him. And we vow to offer Him our praise. Paul told the Ephesians:
"The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him." Ephesians 1:14
We can be thankful God ransoms us for His glory and to His praise.
Gathered manna for Psalm 56 is:
God ransoms us from the death of sin and temptation so that we will offer Him all our praise.
From what has God ransomed you? Where are you most tempted? How can you overcome this temptation? How will you praise God today? or what?
Praying we all cry out for God to ransom us from Satan and that we will learn to praise God for His great ransom.
Until next time keep gathering manna, growing deeper, and gaining intimacy.
May God bless and keep you,