They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore.  (Ezekiel 34:25-31, NKJV)

 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about deliverance lately, and this verse brought me near tears as I considered the bands of my yoke from which God has delivered me.  Verse 27 reminded me of the bondage of self, confessed in the Step Three Prayer.  Verse 28 brought back my whole Step Four inventory with its hurts and fears.  The last verse of this excerpt though, was God’s signature on this passage and His address of it to me, as He promised me freedom from shame and from the earthly hunger that consumes me.  The garden of providence He bestows upon me is one of honor, prestige, repute, acclaim – it is one of “renown.”

 

I can’t celebrate my deliverance without remembering the state from which I was delivered.  God told the rescued Hebrews in Exodus 13:3…

Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place.

matzahWant to know how that verse ends?  It continues:

No leavened bread shall be eaten.

Sure, this was a seven-day observance, called the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but I find it interesting that God would have them demonstrate their remembrance of deliverance with abstinence from leavened bread (the kind processed with salt or yeast).

 

Dear Father, today, I commemorate my deliverance from the bondage of Self and Food. I accept Your gift of abstinence, and I choose to demonstrate my gratitude for it, by keeping it.   I thank You for being mighty enough to save and loving enough to save me.  Without shame I confess that I am a delivered compulsive overeater, who chooses, this one day at a time, not to return to his bondage.  Halleluiah and hosanna!  You have delivered me, and continue to do so.  Thank You, Bread of Life!

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