The Berean Expositor
Volume 53 - Page 126 of 215
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Prison Experiences
"because the Lord was with him . . . . ."
(Gen. 39: 23).
pp. 237 - 240
In this series, we propose to use as a guide the many references to prison in both the
Old and New Testaments. We might expect that many of them would be records of those
who were being punished for their wrong-doing but this is not so.
Although we are studying the circumstances that lead to prison experience, we bear in
mind that some people (and probably more than we realize) have experiences which do
not lead to being bound or being confined to a prison cell, but which are similar to prison
experience. Some of the references in scripture to prison relate to "restraint" so that there
are limitations to the freedom of the individual although they are not in chains. How
many people suffer from limitations that restrict their freedom? People may be severely
limited owing to problems connected with their health, or their financial situation or other
disabilities. One can be unable to visit friends, if a car is not available and if public
services are withdrawn. Those who live in the country find travel more and more
difficult and such environment conditions could lead to a type of "prison experience".
In fact, we may go further and say that each one of us is limited to some extent by our
circumstances, our responsibilities, our occupation, our environment, our financial
situation, our obligations, our health, and many other factors. A young and healthy
person could be "imprisoned" by the responsibility of caring for an infirm and aged
parent. A Christian wishing to help in a witness in a certain locality may be prevented
from so doing, because he is employed in a different locality and cannot get "time off" to
travel to and from the other locality, or the distance may be so great that the time and the
cost involved make the journey impossible.
The limitations which we have tried to illustrate are of a physical nature but there is
the spiritual dimension. How many times do we hear of the need for "fellowship"? How
many Christians for one reason or another cannot meet with others for fellowship and
worship? How many members of the church which is His Body find themselves isolated
and have little or no opportunity to meet and talk with others of like precious faith. They
feel "shut up" or "imprisoned". They are lonely and want fellowship.
We are aware of this need and that is why we have arranged for the Tape Recording
Service, which enables the lonely ones to apply for cassettes and by that means they can
share with others the message that was delivered at the Chapel, or elsewhere. We also
encourage such isolated ones to share with others in prayer and we issue Joints and Bands
for this purpose, asking the lonely ones to contact us and exchange their experiences with