Browsing through the verses that came up in my “Oppression” search on Biblegateway or Blueletter Bible, I wasn’t too surprised to see so many verses there were concerning the tyrannous oppression by the many enemies of Israel. (Interesting side note…notice nothing’s changed in that department?)
Although the Israelites experienced so much oppression, that doesn’t quite qualify for my reason to choose this topic for the series. What confuses the unsaved/newly saved is when we say things like being oppressed by the devil/enemy/satan/evil/…you get what I mean.
Oppressed by the devil is not the same thing as being depressed (sad or despondent) and it certainly isn’t the same thing as being possessed (controlled, crazed) with demons.
The actual word oppression, refers to being dominated in cruel and often demoralizing or brutal fashion. We see that when the Israelites were in Egypt enslaved by Pharaoh, and the Romans ruled with an iron fist. This is a word the Jews and Gentiles fully understood. So when it pops up in Acts 10:38…
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
…it was something they fully understood.
Here’s an interesting thing; this verse tells us that Jesus HEALED all who were oppressed. That tells me that the invisible prison of oppression is something one can be healed of... like a blind man having his sight restored, or the lame man rolling up his bed and walking away, or the woman who reached out to touch the hem of His garment.
I don’t believe Christians, true Christ followers, can be possessed by the Devil but I do believe the slimy enemy can hold us in an invisible prison of oppression…a form of cruel, demoralizing, brutal control.
So let me ask you; what is Satan using to oppress you? Do you have habits you can’t seem to break? Are there low, dark “clouds” of depression that hang over you and cause you to not see the Light? Are you silently battling guilt over something you know you’ve been forgiven of? Well good news… let me slip you the key between the bars to the lock. Jesus can free you from your invisible prison and heal you of what oppresses you.
Psalm 107:17-22 (The Message)
Some of you were sick because you'd lived a bad life,
your bodies feeling the effects of your sin;
You couldn't stand the sight of food,
so miserable you thought you'd be better off dead.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
he got you out in the nick of time.
He spoke the word that healed you,
that pulled you back from the brink of death.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
Offer thanksgiving sacrifices,
tell the world what he's done—sing it out!