Deliverance From Bondage,
By Dr Biodun Sotunmbi
There are, broadly speaking, two categories of bondage,
namely physical and spiritual.
Physical bondage refers to slavery or servanthood. Persons
who are captured in war lose their freedom as their captors usually treat them,
in varying degrees, rather badly imposing on them tasks or labour that are more
or less fit for beats of burden. In spite of their lack of freedom God can use
them as agents of deliverance, 2Kings 5:1-6.
Another kind of physical bondage is imprisonment, after a
judicial process or detention of political opponents without trial. Freedom may
come at the end of the term of imprisonment or by Executive pardon.
Spiritual bondage, on the other hand, emanates from satanic
oppression, which may manifest as chronic or incurable disease. The Madman of
Gadara could never been cured, by any human medication, as the legion of demons
who ruled his mind would never have allowed that. They held him captive among
the dead but allowed him to visit the living even though his behavior set him
far apart from them. Only Jesus, the Deliverer, could have set him free and
return him to human habitation as a divine witness, Mk. 5:1-20.
Fear is another manifestation of satanic bondage. Although
there is normal fear of the unknown or of darkness, satan can exploit such
fears, leading to insecurity and lack of confidence in God who, assuredly, says
“fear thou not, for I am with thee: be
not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will
strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee, I will help thee: yea I will uphold
thee with the right hand of my righteousness” Isaiah 41:10.
This and similar assurances fall into deaf ears making it
possible for satan to make inroad into their lives.
But it is not beyond our loving God to allow some of these
lost souls, to stray to a church revival or crusade, give their lives to Christ
and make a turnaround, to the surprise of those who had written them off.
The use of hard drugs and alcohol, mostly by young people,
also leads to bondage. The users frequently end up losing their minds. A
particular kind of drug known as opioids, over time, may result to
deterioration of physical and mental health, and even death. For those who have
acquired these habits, like most internet fraudsters, the end result is physical
and spiritual jail.
Any discussion of the sources of spiritual bondage will be
incomplete without mentioning willful ignorance. Those who know or are exposed
to the truth but ignore, or even deliberately oppose it, are sold to the devil.
The Jewish elites, who denied the divine sonship of Jesus, harassed, insulted
and eventually got him crucified, were victims of their own pride and stupid
attachment to their tradition and law, Matt. 12:1-8. Every effort Jesus made to
remove the veil covering their eyes was resisted. They claimed He had a demon
when, in reality, they were the ones who were demon-possessed, John 8:48-58.
Not even a leading member of the Pharisaic sect, Nicodemus, who had seen the
Light, could convince them, John 7:50-52. If anyone chooses to live in darkness
when he had been exposed to The Light then he is on his own, John 11:8-10.
It should be noted that God, not just the devil, can allow
men to descent into bondage when they fall into sin. Saul, His own choice of
king for His beloved people, Israel, (I Sam. 9:27 and I Sam. 10:1) committed
sin and He handed him over to satan who terrorized him till death, I Sam.
16:14; I Sam. 31:1-4. Even the beloved David, “the sweet Psalmist of Israel”, 2
Sam. 23:1, of whom God proudly said
I have found David my servant, with my
holy oil have I anointed him, with whom my hand shall be established: mine arm
also shall strengthen him, Ps. 89:20&21
descended into bondage
when, to God’s disappointment, he allowed himself to commit adultery and
murder. His punishment was severe, very severe, 2 Sam. 12:9-14. What saved him
from damnation was his genuine and desperate repentance, Ps. 51.
In contemporary times too
there are children of God who might truly have been called as Apostles,
Pastors, Prophets, Evangelists or Teachers, men and women who did exploits for
God but who, at one point submitted to the lure of riches, power and fame.
Satan, of course, becomes their friend and encourager even though they condemn
him on the pulpit.
Jesus had warned that, in
the time ahead, false prophets, false witnesses, and even false christs would
arise, Matt. 7:15, Matt. 24:23&24. Not surprisingly they are flourishing at
a time when prosperity, not sacrifice, is their priority goal. However, there
are genuine servants of God whose commitment to the gospel is unwavering, day
They swim in freedom
unless they allow sharks, “the Prince of this world”, John 12:31, to overtake