Liberty to the Captives

It is of the essence of the gospel to proclaim liberty to the captives.   At Nazareth, Jesus read from Isaiah.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  Luke 4:18-19

In reading Arthur Pink’s Gleanings in Genesis, regarding Abram’s rescue of Lot, I found the following passage a good reminder of our calling to proclaim liberty to captive, not tell him “I told you so.”

It is beautiful to observe the effect of this intelligence [regarding Lot’s capture] upon our patriarch. Abram was not indifferent to his nephew’s well-being. There was no root of bitterness in him. There was no callous, “Well, this is none of my doing: he must reap what he has sown.” Promptly he goes to the aid of the one in distress. But note it was not in the energy of the flesh that he acted. It was no mere tie of nature that prompted Abram here — “When Abram heard that his brother (not his ‘nephew’) was taken captive.’’ A brother — a spiritual brother — was in need, and so he

“armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan” (Genesis 14:14).

And has this no voice for us today? Surely the spiritual application is obvious. How often is a “brother” taken captive by the enemy, and the word comes,

“Ye, which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Galatians 6:1).

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