40 DAYS VIGIL WITH PRAYER AND FASTING FROM 29TH APRIL OVER 7TH JUNE, 2020 TITLE “MY GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE” HEBREWS 12:29.
Day 37: Thursday 4th June, 2020.
Scripture: Acts 12:1-19
Topic: God the Consuming Fire Versus Imprisonment
Text: Genesis 39:20
Prison in Hebrew words are “cohar”, meaning round house or fortress.
In Early Times:
The earliest occurrence of the word “prison” is found in the narrative of Joseph’s life in Egypt the Jahwist. The term used, namely, cohar, means perhaps “round house” or “tower.” It seems probable that among the Hebrews there were no special buildings erected as “jails” in the premonarchical period, and perhaps not before the post-exilic period, when the adoption of the civic institutions and customs of surrounding nations prevailed. In Egypt and Assyria, on the contrary, there were probably public buildings corresponding to our modern jails. Among the Hebrews, rooms in connection with the royal palace or the residence of prominent court officials would be used for the purpose.
Joseph in Egypt:
According to one narrative (Jahwist) in Genesis the prison in which Joseph was confined had a “keeper,” while according to another narrative (the Elohist). The offending members of the royal household, namely, the royal butler and the royal baker, were placed “in ward” with the “captain of the guard” in charge, i.e. in some part of the royal palace.
This is still more probable if, instead of “captain of the guard,” we should translate “chief of the cooks” i.e. superintendent of the royal kitchen.
Causes of Imprisonment:
It was often necessary to restrict the liberty of individuals who for various causes were a menace to those in authority, without inflicting any corporal punishment, e.g. Joseph’s brethren were kept “in ward” three days. See Genesis 42:19. Shimei was forbidden to pass beyond the boundary of Jerusalem (1 Kings 2:36); the person who was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath was put “in ward” pending his trial (Numbers 15:34).
Under the Monarchy:
The Book of Jeremiah throws considerable light on the prison system of Jerusalem in the later monarchical period. The prophet was put “in the stocks that were in the upper gate of Benjamin, which was in the house of Yahweh.” See Jeremiah 20:2.
In the New Testament:
In the New Testament “prison” generally occurs for the Greek word phulake, which corresponds to the Hebrew word mishmar, referred to above. See Matthew 5:25; Acts 5:19; 1 Peter 3:19. In connection with the imprisonment of John the term used is desmoterion, “place of bonds” or “fetters” Matthew 11:2; the same word is used in the case of Peter and John (Acts 5:21,23), and of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:26). But the more common term is also found in these narratives. In Acts 12:17 “prison” renders a Greek word which means “dwelling.”This would correspond to the modern “police station” or “lockup.”
There are two types of Prison in life.
Firstly physical imprisonment in which one is confined and locked up in a cell and free movement is restricted.
Secondly, one can be free physically yet in the prison of the power of darkness. A mad person is free but his mental capacity has been imprisoned. Such person can move around if the state has not worsen to being bedridden but his health is in the prison.
Other prisons are prison of poverty, bad luck, oppression, backwardness, barrenness, failure, etc.
Come to Jesus Christ he will set you free. Come unto me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.
- Prayer Points:
- I command, anointing for success, fall mightily upon me henceforth by God’s consuming fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Oh Lord God, i want to be like Jesus henceforth, help me by Your consuming fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
- I command every prison that cease my blessings and glory, what are you waiting for, collapse by God’s consuming fire now, in the name of Jesus Christ.
- O Lord God, silence every spirit of prison in my life henceforth by God’s consuming fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Divine power that brought Paul and Silas out of the prison, bring me out of prison now, now, now, in the name of Jesus Christ.
- God’s consuming fire that brought Peter out of his prison, bring me out now, in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Divine mercy and favour that located Joseph and catapulted him from prison to palace, rest upon me now to take me to the palace of my life, in the name of Jesus Christ.