Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 124:6-8:
“Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.”
I met a lot of people in Africa, but none so thrilling as Mr./Mrs. Cow. We don’t know his/her true gender—it’s a long story.
One evening, I saw that Mr./Mrs. Cow had escaped from the tree he/she was normally tied to and was now walloping into the missionaries’ lawn, dragging his/her rope behind. Not wanting to wake up to see him/her chewing the cud of what was once my shoe, I decided to call in the A-Team of cow capture—two Americans. We’ve met plenty of cows at Chikfila—so we obviously know how to handle them.
Asher sprang into action and grabbed the cow by the horns—er, by the rope. The cow looked up at him. He looked at the cow. The cow looked at him. He looked at the cow. I got my camera ready—a true friend. Before I knew what was happening, I saw a sight I’ll never forget: poor Asher being dragged by the cow. Apparently, Mr./Mrs. Cow was not ready to go back into captivity and charged down a ditch for the freedom of cows everywhere.
But one thing stood in his/her way: Caitlyn Snyder, Cow Wrangler. But alas, today was not her day for a final stand—she manged to jump out of the way and allow Mr./Mrs. Cow to fall into the hands of experts: the orphans. They easily restrained the cow and got him/her back where he belonged. Mission Accomplished, as far as I was concerned.
In our passage today, the Psalmist says, “Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers”—picture a young bird, trapped in a net as the fowler closed in with his knife. But at the last moment, the young bird manages to wrest one wing free. Then the other. And then—freedom. Escaping the net, he can fly anywhere he wants. What joy!
But I love what the Psalmist says next, “The snare is broken, and we have escaped.” The snare is broken! Not just for the bird caught in the net—but for us as God’s people. The Psalmist is using it as an illustration of the protection God gave His people Israel. He gave them escape from the Egyptians, Moabites, Philistines, Assyrians, and Babylonians—over and over again, God gave deliverance to His people.
But true deliverance came to both Israel and to us in the form of a humble carpenter. A humble carpenter Who just happened to be God’s Son. God’s Son Who just happened to die to be our Savior from sin. A Savior Who just happened to rise again and conquer the power of death. Ya, that Deliverer. Jesus Christ.
The snare is broken, my friends! As the hymn writer states so clearly, “He breaks the power of canceled sin—He sets the prisoner free!” We are free! Like Mr./Mrs. Cow, we have been pulled free from the tree that kept us bound. But like Mr./Mrs. Cow, we still leave that rope around our neck and let things like selfishness, sin, and Satan grab the end of it. And we try to run here and there to get free on our own strength, but it never works.
Instead, let’s look to the Deliverer. He’s the One Who set us free and cancelled our sin in the first place. He can detach the chains of self, sin, and Satan and help us live in the freedom He has already supplied for us.
The snare is broken. We are free from sin. Not free to do whatever we want and go right back into sin—that doesn’t make sense. We are free from sin and from the law. Free to live for Him out of love.
The snare is broken. Now, live like it!
-Matthew W., SC