I awoke at four am after experiencing a disturbing dream – reliving an ongoing battle I’ve been involved in with someone. I experienced again the oppression as many of the recent events were reconstructed in my dream. The anguish, the disbelief and the stress of dealing with an unstable person.
As I layed there trying to go back to sleep, I mentally prepared a letter to the spouse, listing the events that had transpired in the last few months I was sure they were unaware of. I had in my drawer notes with dates and times of these events, so I could be concise and accurate of the occurances. But would it matter? What was I truly trying to achieve? Points to prove I was right and they were wrong? O was I trying to pursue peace?
I know why I had the dream. Before going to bed I was glancing at a friend’s blog. Her blog had a video and I listened to a few minutes of it. Reading Psalm 119:134, she read, “Redeem me from the oppression of men, that I may obey your precepts.” What caught my interest was a question that she asked: What is the fine line between authority and oppression?
I thought I knew what the words meant. Authority means someone in a position that gives them power to give orders or make decisions. They have power or the right to direct or control someone or something. Someone who is respected and obeyed by other people. A person who is an expert on a subject.
Oppression on the other hand was something that I viewed as a black cloud lingering over someone or something. It is a tactic of the enemy to torment Christians because he cannot possess them on the inside, therefore he oppresses them on the outside. Somewhat like a little critter sitting on your shoulder spewing lies and deceit in your ear to make your life miserable.
While there is some truth in that definition yet when I looked it up in the dictionary I was surprised. Oppression means to treat (a person or a group of people) in a cruel or unfair way. It is to make someone feel sad or worried for a long period of time.
Never had I considered the two words related. As I searched for the answer to the question regarding the difference between authority and oppression I was astounded at the result. I learned that Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. Ouch. Oppression hurts. It is manipulative, deceptive and wrong.
Like red flashing lights the warning sounded and was loud and clear: There was a battle raging. Considering that the best defense is a good offense, a smile spread across my face. I not only have a good offense, I have the most excellent offense! I didn’t need to react in fear and trembling because as 1 John 4:4 says “You dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” There is no greater offense than God himself.
“The unfolding of your words give light and gives understanding to the simple. Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. Redeem me from the oppression of men, that I may obey your precepts.” Psalm 119:130-134
No letter will be written, nor events shared because prayer is much more beneficial. I will stay close to the Lord, heed his word and spend much more time on my knees. As I continue to examine myself that no hidden sin is found in me, I will just wish them well…