Day 1 – No longer held hostage
I’m pretty sure this is the name of a movie. If not, it really should be. Doesn’t it sound like “Ransomed: Now playing in theaters everywhere” goes well together? What would this movie be about? Take 30 seconds to let images come to your mind. Create tiny snippets of a screenplay. I’d be so curious to hear what you come up with.
It’s interesting to think about, but Biblically, the word ransom can get really interesting. Listen to this verse from the Psalms, 49:15 –
But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.
Some Bibles translate the Hebrew, just as you see above…ransom. In other Bibles, the verse is translated like this –
But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.
The same is true for our theme verse of the week, Isaiah 35:10-
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Say these two verses to yourself again, substituting the word redeemed for the word ransomed in each one. See how it works? It still certainly fits.
The Hebrew root for the word ransomed in both passages is padah, pronounced (paw-daw’)*. This root word can mean to redeem, to ransom, or to rescue, so you can see where the back and forth comes in. Hebrew isn’t cut and dry. There’s room for some wiggle.
Both redeemed and ransom have a price tag involved. Someone is going to pay something to get something back. They are both action words. These are verbs that bring someone back, make a situation right, remove a situation where something was once captive in some way.
So, what’s a girl to do when something like this isn’t clear at face value? I dug deeper into the Word, searching verse after verse after verse, and…I asked my husband. 🙂
Do you have someone in your life whom you can talk through questions, like this one? They may seem slightly meaningless. Ransomed, redeemed, whatever. Just pick one. Why does it matter? Questions like these, curiosity, wonder, pondering; This is where Faith meets conversation. Discussing the Word is never meaningless. Time spent trying to understand what God is trying to say to us is always, always beneficial, and you might be surprised how these small conversations can impact your day.
When I hear the word “ransomed” images of kidnappings, hostage situations, and terrorism come to mind. Not pleasant, but also not far off Biblically.
In ransoming someone, the emphasis is on bringing them out of something, rather than where they are going to. The emphasis is on the action- going in, rescuing, being delivered, that action that brings redemption.
Most importantly ransoming means getting someone out.
There is a desperation in ransoming.
Get out now.
Get out for the sake of your very life.
In fact, one of the definitions of the Hebrew word padah is “by any means, redeem.”
Any means. Any means.
Turn to Isaiah 53. We’ll settle on verses 3-6 and 10-12, here. Feel free to read the chapter as a whole if you have your Bibles open.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Go back and highlight any action words in the verses above, or see some of them highlighted below.
laid on him (v.6)
oppressed, afflicted (v.7)
taken away, cut off (v.8)
his soul makes an offering for guilt (v.10)
anguish of his soul, bear their iniquities (v.11)
bore the sin of many (v. 12)
This is the language of ransom. Jesus was willing to bear the weight, to take any action necessary to save us. Any means necessary – for you. In Isaiah 53 we see it laid out in words 800 years prior to His incarnation, the actions that would be required of Him, the walk to the cross that would ransom each of our lives. Beautiful and remarkable.
What does He ransom us from? We’ll talk about this throughout the week. Here are a few verses to whet the appetite. Read each verse and see what God the Father has sent Jesus to ransom us from. Remember that your Bible may say redeemed for any given verse. Read each passage using the word ransomed for our purposes today.
Hosea 13:14 – We are ransomed from death, violence, and our enemies. When the world rages, we know that we have been ransomed. We will not be destroyed. Jesus brings us out of the violence of this world through the gift of eternity, and sometimes in the very real midst of it.
Job 6:23 – We are ransomed from people who are ruthless, from adversaries or those who antagonize us. Got anyone like that in your life? Any frenemies out there? Yuck. It’s good to know that Jesus doesn’t just care about enemies, but that He cares about those people who use us as targets, who are fake friends, and offer sugary sweetness while “keeping us in our place.”
Jeremiah 31:10-11 – We are ransomed from exile, from far off places, and strongholds. God brings us close to Him. He ransoms us from the people, places, and things that keep us from growing closer to Him, the roadblocks to belief, to faith, and to hope.
1 Peter 1:18-19 – We are ransomed from futile ways. Sometimes, we need saving from our own foolish selves. Sometimes we need saving from the generational sins that hold us captive and hold our families captive in destructive behaviors. Sometimes we need saving from sins that keep the devils thumb on us, holding us down, keeping us from growth.
He has brought us out. He has rescued us from whatever held us captive in the past and what we feel holds us captive now. By any means necessary, girls. He treasures you. He would not leave one behind.
You are ransomed.
What images come to mind when you hear the word ransom?
Who or what in your life has God brought you out of?
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*photo used from pexels.com