Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons— Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High, Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
-Chain in Hebrew is written as chan which is used as a symbol of authority and identity like the gold chain placed on Joseph’s neck (Gen 41:42), high-priest (Exo 39:17-21), Israel adorned (Eze 16:11). Gold chains were also used in the temple (1 Kin 6:21). Chain is as a symbol of wisdom (Prov 1:9). Midianites placed chains on the neck of their camels (Jud 8:21-26). Chains were used to bound prisoners (Jud 16:21; 2 Sam 3:34; 2 King 25:7; Jer 39:7), as Paul was bound by chains (Acts 21:30-33; Acts 28:20, Eph 6:20, 2 Tim 1:16) and Peter (Acts 12:6), a demon possessed man (Mk 5:1-6). Paul like Christians are chained to Christ through the gospel (Phil 1:12-14, Eph 6:19-20).
-When King Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, he took away all the treasures from the temple and destroyed it. He also captured some Israelite’s as captives to Babylon. In dark prisons and dungeons; he bound them in chains of affliction day and night because of their disobedience to Gods’ word. They suffered for seventy years and when they cried out to the Lord; He rescued them. God delivered them from the shadows of death and broke their chains of distress into pieces. As it has been evidenced, rebellion to Gods’ word might bring about captivity causing spiritual imprisonment that manifest in life struggles. Like physical imprisonment; spiritual chains give birth to barrenness, stagnation, lack, physical retardation, death and other forms of challenges. But when we were still sinners, God demonstrated His own love toward and Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). We are therefore reminded to offer our thanksgiving and praise to God for His unending love upon us and to follow His word in obedience; as He calls each of us.
We thank You Lord our Father for loving us with an everlasting love that You sent Your Only begotten Son Jesus for the salvation of the world. All glory and thanksgiving belongs to You. For the many times we have rebelled against Your word Lord, forgive our sins and those of the whole world. Direct us in Your precepts and way of righteousness that we may come to faith in You Jesus; leading to life everlasting. You delivered the Israelite’s from captivity when they were in the dungeon; remember us Jesus in our various difficult situations and deliver us from the chains that capture us, by Your precious blood. Remember Lord all those who have court cases, prisoners and in spiritual chains; that You visit them, direct their paths and rescue us all by Your saving arm. Many among us are sick, struggling and waiting on You for various needs, may You hear and answer us all according to You merciful love. We thank You and give all the praise to You Lord for Your goodness and Your wonderful works in all the earth, now and forever. Amen
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
-God gave Joseph a unique gift of interpreting dreams which brought him before the king Pharaoh. He had interpreted others dreams before; including those of the chief butler and baker when they were in the dungeon; and expected word to reach Pharaoh of him sooner (Gen 40:8-23). For another two years he remained in the dungeon and learnt how to be patient and wait on the Lord. Humility comes before honour (Pro 15:33). When Joseph humbled himself before the Lord, God lifted him up and he was made a governor in all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh clothed him with the finest garment and ornaments including a golden chain which gave him a new identity and was a symbol of authority. As it is key to exercise our different gifts and abilities which God has given us; it is also important to wait on the Lord with humility, for at the appointed time, He will lift us up.
How excellent is Your name our Lord in all the earth Almighty Father, we proclaim Your name on high. You have never left us as orphans nor forsaken us, we thank You and glorify Your holy name. We can never repay You Lord for Your goodness and mercy upon us but can only say, thank You Jesus; praise You Jesus. Thank You for Your gift of salvation and for the love that You have always shown us, we will never cease to praise You Lord. Fill our hearts with humility Holy Spirit and teach us how to wait on You in all things. We know that You have great plans for our lives like You had for Your servant Joseph, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, we trust in You Jehovah. May Your will be done Father; in our lives, families, societies, churches, nation and on the whole world. Amen
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.
-The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instructions. This is a common verse that should define the moral standing of each individual. Temptations ordinarily come in the most enticing ways to deviate us from the path of light. Sometimes it comes through friends who propose immoral ideas or act in bad character to corrupt good morals (1 Cor 15:33). God reminds us to remain rooted in His word and revoke any such ways of foolishness. To cloth ourselves with wisdom as represented by precious ornaments in the form of chains and crowns; in the quest to seek truth through Christ Jesus. The fear of the Lord has been delineated by the love of God and neighbours as is His will. It is through the same love that we are called to honour our fathers and mothers that we may live long on earth. God is love and as His children; we are called to love.
May Your wisdom and love Holy Spirit become the most precious ornaments that You cloth us with, so that we may never depart from Your ways. Help us to always be obedient to Your word and to follow Your path of righteousness. Guide us as we hear from You even through our parents advise. Bless our parents and renew their strength Father so that they may always be in good health, wealth, wisdom, love, joy and peace as they age gracefully. Our Father who at in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from all evil. For thine is the kingdom the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
-Apostle Paul went through diverse experiences having been transformed when he was persecuting Christians, to become a great minister of God’s word. Having been imprisoned in Rome chained to a roman guard 24/7; he did not grumble but utilised that opportunity to write letters to different churches. To Philippians he described with joy how his experiences have transformed his brethren. Through his experiences; Paul reminds us that we have been crucified with Christ for it was no longer we who live but Christ Who lives in us, and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal 2:20). Like Paul was in chains; we are reminded that we are slaves to God and no longer slaves to sin, having the fruit of righteousness ending in eternal life through faith (Rom 6:20-22). Each one is therefore called to believe the gospel and follow Christ through our words, actions and whole being, as we allow others to be transformed by Him.
Jesus Master You are the King of kings and Lord of lord’s, our great I AM and our great High Priest, we thank You for loving us with an everlasting love. Have mercy on us and on the whole world. Forgive us our sins Lord and grant us the grace to forgive those who offend us. Thank You for You are transforming our country into a corruption free economy; may Your justice prevail Lord. Nothing is impossible with You; we trust in You Jesus. Many are the plans in a man’s heart but Father You ordain his steps; lead us Father in all things. Guide us in our calling and give us the grace to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness and all other things You will add unto us. Grant us firmer faith Jesus to realise that we have been chained to You as Your children that we may never depart from You; now and forever. Amen
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
-Paul and Silas went to the city of Philippi in Macedonia to proclaim the gospel when they encountered a slave girl who had the spirit of divination. When they rebuked the python spirit in her, her masters brought them before the magistrate who condemned them to imprisonment after a thorough beating. In their wounds and chains, they did not complain or despair; but prayed and gave praise to God. They had great faith in God and when they prayed, their chains and those of all the other prisoners were loosed by Gods’ power. These scriptures reveal the power of prayers and thanksgiving to God. In Matthew 7:8 we read that, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened”. You could be going through difficult experiences which might seem like bounding chains or waiting on the Lord for different needs. We are reminded to pray and give thanks to God always and He will surely answer our prayers.
Chains in the Bible have been used symbolically to drive different experiences and outline various revelations in a broad perspective. Chains have been used to depict wisdom; which has figuratively been used as chains and crowns, first to represent their precious significance. Like a chain, wisdom should be placed closest to the heart which results in honour as a crown on ones head. Joseph; guided by the wisdom of God interpreted many dreams with patience and humility and he received his reward. Paul and Silas had great faith in God and when they prayed and gave thanks; the chains of the prisoners were loosed and the prison doors were opened. Paul was fully dedicated to preach the gospel of Christ and brought out the aspect of chains as a bond-servant of God. When we were still prisoners chained in shackles of sin causing death; Christ died for us. Like the man who was possessed by an unclean spirit in Gadarenes and had often been bound with shackles and chains was set free by Jesus, we have been set free from sin through His everlasting love (Mk 5:1-8). As Christians; we have been liberated to God through the blood of Jesus, that we may always approach his throne of grace and find mercy. God works in, through and for His people as we love and obey Him by faith. As we come to the knowledge of Christ; chained to Him so that we may never depart from Him and His word, we are called to seek Him first in things until we come to eternal life with Him at the end of time.
O Lord, our God, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. You have set Your glory above the heavens, we glorify Your holy name. You have told us Father that whatever we ask for in Your name, You will accomplish for us, we trust in You. We present our prayers, petitions and thanksgiving to You Lord that You may answer us according to Your merciful love. Forgive us our sins and break all the chains of the evil one in our lives, families and nation by Your precious blood. Renew our spirit and fill our hearts with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control Holy Spirit, that we may always do Your will. Lord, teach us to offer You hearts of thanksgiving and praise in all our daily experiences of life. You have set Your glory above the heavens Lord, we glorify and praise Your name, forever. Amen