When I was a kid I used to walk to school, eyes focused on the side of the road looking for soda bottles which I could redeem for two cents. A few soda bottles could net a bag of candy or a pack of gum.
I never felt I was worthy to put my two cents worth into any conversation. The abuse I received made me mirror the exact responses others wanted. Necessary, for if I responded wrong, I could literally lose my life. Before I was five, my parents had tried to kill me three times. When my father stuck his fist in my face and told me he would kill me if I told, I believed him.
At first, as a young adult, when I looked in the mirror, I saw the face of an abuse victim. In order to change that image, I had to train my thinking to see a VICTOR. One of the key elements for me was the second verse in the list of who am I in Christ. I am excited to share with you the depth of meaning from this Bible verse.
REDEEMED FROM THE HAND OF THE ENEMY.
The New King James Bible puts it this way:
Psalm 107, verse two, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”
The Psalms were written in Hebrew. When translated from Hebrew to English, some of the words lose important elements of their meaning. One tool for finding what the psalmist meant by redeemed is Strong’s Concordance. I want to share with you what redeemed means according to Strong’s (1350)
It means to redeem according to the Oriental law of kinship, where the next of kin (Jesus) buys back a relative’s property, marries his widow, redeems from slavery. It means avenger, ransom, deliver, kinsman’s part, purchase. The basic use of this term has to do with deliverance of persons or property that has been sold for debt. In Biblical times, a poor person could sell himself into slavery to pay off a debt. His kinsman could buy back the slave, pay off the debt, and restore the property to the poor person.
Chains of Slavery by xomiele
According to Strong’s, a redeemer could also marry his brother’s wife to produce an offspring to keep the line of inheritance going as we see in the book of Ruth. The responsibility to redeem belongs to the nearest relative. During the time of Psalms, if someone was killed, there was an avenger of blood, who would hunt down the killer and extract a life for a life. The kinsman redeemer was responsible for preserving the life, integrity, property and family name. When God redeems, He redeems with a stretched out arm and with great judgments. We know our Redeemer (Jesus) stretched out His arms for us to deliver us from sin.
Our enemy, adversary (as some translations call him) is defined in Strong’s (6862) with some unusual images such as a tight place, a pebble. We also see him as an opponent, an enemy, trouble, distress, affliction, foes, tribulation, and pressed hard.
Think about these definitions and how awesome God is that He will fully redeem us – he will take what our abusers stole from us and restore us our life, our integrity, our property, and make us whole. He can help us to get out of tight places, out of our distress, affliction, and tribulation. Our God is stronger than our abuser.
Next post, we will expand on this verse’s meaning. For now I wonder what this glorious redemption means to you. Please share.
Have a blessed day.