February 10th 2010

Freeing Prisoners

“To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.”

Isaiah 42:7 (NKJV)

My copy of Cruden’s concordance has this under ‘Prison’: “The prisons of Bible times were generally windowless dungeons below ground; sometimes a cave or pit was used for the purpose. The prisoners were bound, or chained.”

Imagine that—being tied up, chained to walls in dark, damp, dank conditions, in stinking pits or dungeons, falling to fever, treated so badly that if the prison guard told you that you were to be executed you would sing and dance for joy because relief would come from your suffering.

There are people in these conditions today. Most people feel like this at some time in their lives, some may feel like this right now: bound, tied and chained without hope. Not all prisons are physical places, not all chains are physical, but they are no less real.

Most prisoners only want to be released from the prison they are in. They will search for any chance of escape, no matter how slim. Jesus said “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:32).  We do not always know how to help in such circumstances, but God already knows what people need and He will supply it (Philippians 4:19).

As I walk my daughter to school I see many other parents and grandparents. I try to say “Hello” or “Good Morning” to all and at least smile or just nod. Not all people are morning people and nothing you say will make any difference till 10 am, but many people do respond. I can’t say that I really know these people, but I know them in passing.

Sometimes this is all it takes to set a prisoner free. To acknowledge people exist is a start. It may not be much, but who knows how many prisoners have been set free from their prisons, from isolation, from loneliness, by such a simple act?

Prisons have one thing in common—they have locks. Maybe we have, and are, the key to set some of them free.


Father, thank you that your son has set me free from the chains of sin and death.  Please let the light, which he shines into my life, become a comfort and joy to others.



Study by Rosemary Gent

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