Out from the Shadow of Death

Read: Psalm 107:10-16

. . . prisoners in affliction . . . (v. 10)

More than 2.3 million people in North America experience imprisonment today, among well over 10 million worldwide. They are incarcerated for violating human law. The prisoners in today’s key verse had done far worse. They had rebelled against God’s words and spurned God’s counsel (v. 11). These people of Judah were carried off to exile in Babylon for their continued faithlessness. Like the thief next to Jesus on the cross, they knew they deserved God’s wrath as the reward of their deeds (Luke 23:41). The justice of God demands a payment of death.

But God’s grace is greater than the offense. The prisoners cried out, and God delivered them (v. 12). Deserving death, they were set free! Paul described us all in this way: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked . . . But God, being rich in mercy . . . made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:1-5). Whether in a physical prison or not, all of us have rebelled against God and are dead in sin. Thanks be to God for his measureless mercy and infinite grace.

Among our readers are several thousand inmates who receive Words of Hope devotionals. One wrote recently, “I love this booklet, and how much it helps me cope and stay connected with God on a daily basis. I look forward to reading every night before bed.” No matter where this day finds you, you can experience freedom in Jesus. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask God to bless our sisters and brothers in prison.

About the Author

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.