In this passage I will continue to discuss those issues that are associated with God’s people’s last days deliverance from captivity and oppression. In my last passage (Part 1), I described strong links between God’s sovereignty and forgiveness with the ultimate deliverance of his people. Additional topics associated with the upcoming deliverance of his people are found with God being involved in the following:
- Defeating his people’s oppressors
- Delivering justice
- Receiving praise and seeing his people rejoice
Each of these topics is discussed in more detail below.
God frees his people from oppressors in the last days
God’s last days liberation of his people will be another (symbolic) fulfillment of the part in the Song of Moses that says, “The horse and his rider has been hurled into the sea.” Of course, this originally referred to Israel’s escape from Pharoah and his Egyptian army. During these last days, including the time of God’s worldwide wrath, God’s people will again be freed from their oppressors. Scripture speaks about the end times deliverance of the people of Judah and ‘Israel.’
The last days house of Israel’s oppressors and persecutors will be worldwide, logically including nations and leaders where large populations of God’s people reside. I will address more specifics in a future passage, but I do not think that there is any question that the United States and Israel are among the nations that will be implicated. While it may be counter-intuitive to think about these nations as oppressing God’s people, it should be kept in mind that oppression in the current day can take many forms and can be very subtle and secretive by nature, versus overt. (This will become more clear when I address the anti-Christ Chaldean army and their tactics in future passages).
Meanwhile, there is much in God’s Word about freedom from bondage for his people. In a scripture in a Psalm written “for a future generation,” we are told:
- “The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.” (Ps 102:19-20)
The following scriptures are related specifically to a release of God’s people from those who are holding them captive in the last days, and they discuss God’s unmistakable deliverance of his people from the nations:
- “In that day, declares the Lord Almighty, I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them” (Jer 30:8); “…I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile- Jacob will again have peace and security…” (Jer 30:10)
- “As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness…I will bring them out of the nations…I will bring them into their own land.” (Ez 34:12-13)
- “I will save my flock and they will no longer be plundered” (Ez 34:22); “I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts…They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them…they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations.” (Ez 34:25, 27, 29)
You can see from these scriptures that God’s people in the last days will need to be delivered from oppression, captivity, famine and persecution.
Only a remnant is saved
While there is no question that God delivers and frees his people in the last days, it should be understood that not all are saved. Many in the house of Israel (worldwide), and in the land of Israel/Judah, are guilty themselves of idol worship or their own oppression against God’s people. To be clear, God says:
- “I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob.” (Am 9:8)
- “As a shepherd saves from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites be saved…” (Am 3:12)
Altogether, only a remnant of the house of Israel is saved. God says, “I will surely gather all of you O Jacob, I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel (Mic 2:12). This is a “righteous” remnant that will be delivered (as discussed briefly in Part 1); one that obviously believes, calls upon and trusts in Jesus Christ.
God provides justice for his people in the last days
Ultimately, our Lord is a God of justice. When God delivers and redeems his people in the last days, we will be reminded of this once again. I ended my passage entitled, “Oppression and Captivity of God’s People in the End Times,” with the scripture of Jesus reciting Isaiah (verse 61:1) when he visited the synagogue in Nazareth and proclaimed that freedom for the captives was fulfilled by him at that time. He was saying in effect that only he, through his spirit, can provide true justice and freedom from captivity and oppression, including recovery of sight for the blind and the poor. This, of course, remains true today.
Prior to Jesus’ time on this earth, God communicated his desire for true justice through the prophet Isaiah. At that time, the house of Jacob had rebelled, sinned, and broke his commands, but simultaneously were fasting and asking God to respond and to come near. They wondered why he would not. Instead, God reminded them of the true type of “fasting” that he is looking for, which is:
- “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.” (Is 58:6)
Later in the same chapter of Isaiah, God says that what is acceptable to him is feeding the hungry, providing shelter to the wanderers, clothing the naked, and not turning from one’s own flesh and blood. In a way, this reminds us of those who Jesus told us are “blessed” in his Sermon on the Mount: the poor in spirit; those who mourn; the meek; those who desire righteousness; the merciful; the pure in heart; the peacemakers; and those who are persecuted. These are the people who will see true justice and deliverance in the last days.
Here, I am reminded of the Parable of the Great Banquet told by Jesus (Luke 14:16-23), applicable to those entering God’s heavenly kingdom. He told of a man who prepared a great banquet and invited many. But those invited all made excuses for not coming. The man then asked his servant to, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” This appears to be a representation of those who will be saved and will get to experience true deliverance and justice in the coming of God’s kingdom. Jesus reminds us, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14)
The following are scriptures related to God’s justice, deliverance and rescue of his oppressed people in the last days.
- “I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me, says the Lord Almighty.” (Mal 3:5)
- “The poor and the needy search for water but there is none, their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights and springs within the valley…so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this…” (Is 41:17-18, 20)
- “I will gather the lame, I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief, I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation, The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion, from that day and forever.” (Mic 4:6-7)
- “At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they were put to shame. And at that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes.” (Zeph 3:19-20)
God will be the true and final arbiter of justice at a time when seemingly no justice can be found in our last days time. He will do this for all the world to see. So, in speaking about God’s deliverance of his people in this passage (Part 2), I conclude where I began (in Part 1)- that is, God will show that he is the one-and-only true sovereign God. God reminds us again of his power and sovereignty in much of the scripture given above.
God receives praise and honor and his people rejoice
This is a fitting outcome once God’s delivers and redeems his people. God receives honor, glory and recognition among all as the one true God- the only God who can gather his people, forgive them, free them, give them justice, and restore them back in their land. This will be an answer to many prayers of his people from around the world. Jeremiah (33:9) says people will be in “awe” and will “tremble” at the prosperity and peace that God provides in restoring his people to their land. The last days rejoicing and overwhelming joy among God’s people will be for all to witness. This joyful result is shown in scriptures below:
- “Then this city (Jerusalem) will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it.” (Jer 33:9)
- “The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (Is 51:11)
- “Shout for joy O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” (Is 49:13)
- “Sing for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done this, shout aloud O earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.” (Is 44:23)
It is an understatement to say that an end-times celebration among God’s people, likely coinciding with the beginning of the new Millennium and the return of Jesus Christ, will be a spectacular event.
Grace and Peace,
Lion’s Lair (LL)