“We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!” – Psalm 124:7

In this passage, David uses a metaphor to illustrate how God has worked in his life and that of the Israelites, by freeing them from multiple kinds of “snares.” Perhaps more familiar than “snares” would be words like “caged” or “entrapped.”

While this psalm is a beautiful anthem of how God delivered the Israelites from suffering, hardship, and destruction, I’d like to speak instead to the symbolic way in which this psalm can also be applied to the work of Christ in the lives of believers. The psalm speaks of a person’s deliverance from being “caged” or “trapped,” and this can so aptly be applied to the way all humans, without Christ, are like “caged birds.”

Because of the effects of original sin, we humans are unable to escape (on our own) from the temptation to sin and the “cage” of our sinful nature (which we can never shake this side of heaven). Even though God originally designed us to be creatures with freedom and autonomy, we are now terribly broken in our attempts to be or do anything truly good. We are naturally slaves to pleasure, comfort, and our own destructive desires.

However, that’s one of the reasons Jesus came. He came to free us from the cage of our brokenness and from ourselves. One of my favorite quotes that speaks to this work that Jesus came to do is by C.S. Lewis in the last chapter of Beyond Personality: “The more I resist [Jesus] and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires. In fact what I so proudly call “Myself” becomes merely the meeting place for trains of events which I never started and which I cannot stop.”

By being in a relationship with Jesus and giving ourselves up to him, ironically, we are freed from the “cage” we created for ourselves so that “the snare is broken, and we have escaped!”

How grateful I am that God has shown us, by sending Christ to free broken humanity, that “the LORD…was on our side”!

Ashley Carr

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