Friday, August 22, 2014

No Successful Escapes

Read: Isaiah 14:12-17

Is this the man that…opened not the house of his prisoners?                   
                                                                                               Isaiah 12:16-17

     A popular television show in the 1950s and 60s made fun of the German prisoner-of-war (POW) camps. The show centered around Stalag 13, where the commandant, a bumbling fool, prided himself on the fact that there had never been a successful escape from his prison camp. During World War II, that fact was quite the reality. Those who were brought into the POW camps rarely escaped, and many of those who did were shot when they were found. The Germans were ruthless captors who seemed to take great pleasure in the torture and discomfort of their captives. It was that warped, twisted mentality that caused them to experiment on, beat, brutalize, and kill many of their prisoners. It was no concern of theirs if one of their prisoners starved to death, died of exposure, or fell prey to a deadly disease or illness. In fact, over six million humans were the victims of this German death machine. Because of their reputation, being captured by the Germans was a real fear of many, especially for the Jews.
     As horrible as it must have been to be a hostage of the German army, there is a prison- master who is much more dangerous. The book of Isaiah reminds us that Lucifer, the devil, lets none of his prisoners escape either. He is allowed by God to roam the earth for a season, seeking whom he may destroy. Make no mistake of his goal. Once he makes a captive out of a person who falls into his hands, he will not open the door of his prison cell. That does not mean that God cannot break the bars that hold back that prisoner and allow him to escape; but in his own strength, a man can do nothing against the power of the chains with which Satan binds his prey. He is cruel and oppressive; he finds great pleasure in keeping him in bondage.
     On the other hand, there is extensive freedom found through serving Jesus Christ. Though the devil tries to paint those who follow Christ as being bound to rules and regulations, there is no enslavement; there is no captivity. Those who follow Satan are addicted to the drugs, alcohol, pornography, and other kinds of sin – they are captives. Though, technically, Christians could still do any one of those things, they are not bound by them. Just as German captivity struck fear in the hearts of their opponents, falling prisoner to the devil ought to strike fear in the hearts of those who oppose him. Make plans to stay away from his devices so you do not wind up in his prison, from which there are no escapes.

Quote of the day: “The Lord adds and multiplies; the devil subtracts and divides.”

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