‘Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness’ Psalm 107.10
The next two categories of need are similar as they both reflect the needs of those who suffer as a consequence of straying from God.
The first of these refers to people whose mistake is to despise ‘the plans of the Most High’ (verse 11). It’s unlikely that we would call them out and out sinners, but rather think of them as people who have chosen not to walk in the way of God, preferring instead some other style of living. However, the result of their choice isn’t just a matter of them finding some other pasture, but is actually quite bleak.
They are described as ‘prisoners suffering in iron chains’. This points to an important truth: the ways of God are not commandments to restrict our enjoyment but gifts to help us live in freedom and light. God is not a spoilsport thinking of new ways to make us miserable! In fact the very opposite is true. He is seeking our freedom and doing everything he can to bring us out of darkness and gloom, to the extent that he sent Jesus to come into our darkness and lead us out. Some people tend to think that God is restrictive, but what really restricts is sitting in darkness - a prisoner to the life that has been chosen.
God is on the side of light and freedom and this is always his desire for us. If you feel that in some way you are living in gloom and darkness, recognise that this is not his plan for you and ask him to set you free.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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