Ah, the power of poetry to visualize God’s saving acts! Reflect on these vivid images from Charles Wesley:
Before God came into our lives, we were locked up in sin’s prison, bound hand and foot, lying powerless on the floor of our little cell, in the blackness of utter darkness. And we had been that way long days on end. Then . . . everything changed!
God saw our pitiful state (‘Thine eye’) and had mercy. He scattered brilliant life-giving light into our dungeon. The dazzlement shook us out of hopeless slumber. Astonished, we found sin’s chains fallen away and our spirit liberated! We clamored to our feet to find the prison doors open! We walked out in awe and wonderment seeking to know our Emancipator.
Charles Wesley well knew the biblical teaching and real-life experience that testifies to how helpless we are to escape from sin’s prison by our own strength and ingenuity. Deliverance must come from without, not from within. God is the One who initiated and carried out the jailbreak. We simply walked out into the fresh new world of light and freedom filled with gratitude to our mighty, loving Deliverer. Praise, all praise to God!
‘Thus he shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness he has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus. It was nothing you could or did achieve—it was God’s gift to you. No one can pride himself on earning the love of God. The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us’ (Ephesians 2:8-9 J. B. Phillips Translation).