top of page

Singing Psalm 72 you are bought back

pink flower on thorny branch with beach in background

Have you ever been in such debt that it seemed as if you had sold yourself as a slave? That is what it might feel like when you overspend and your whole paycheck goes to pay off your credit card. But if you are in debt over your head, it might take years to work enough to free yourself. Or, if you don't make stops, you might still be enslaved to it at the end of your life.

“From oppression — and from every violence —

    O he redeems their life and buys them back! 

And how precious — precious is their life-blood —

    O how their life is precious in his sight.”  ~ Psalm 72:14

Singing Psalm 72 you are bought back from oppression

You earned death with your first sin but from birth you were in a sinful state. Although you sin, you no longer love it but are repulsed by it. You had been sold as a slave to sin. Who would buy you back? Jesus bought back your soul with his blood and gave you new life as a free gift of God. But it is possible to be enslaved and needing to be bought back without even knowing it:

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” ~ John 8:31-33

Had they forgotten Egypt? Babylon?

Were they not aware that they had been sold? Pride has a way of deluding humans to the reality of their state before God.

Would the path of your life consist simply of being traded from one brutal slave master to another? One ruling desire after another? One sinking relationship after another built on deceptive grounds?

What if instead you could be bought back by the one who made you, who has compassion for you, who cherishes you? Who can set you free? And if freedom is offered to you, would you recognize it as freedom and receive it with gratitude? Or would you mistake it for another form of slavery and reject it?

"What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 

"For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 6:15-23

Live long enough, get honest enough on the inside and you know what it means to be a slave and that you need to be set free. From who? Yourself.

Jesus lets you in on how he does this — how he sets you free from yourself. He pays the high price to buy you back that no one else could ever pay, then, he remakes your life:

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

The difference in my unrecognizable response to being misunderstood and talked about was evidence that I was bought back. Though it still hurt, there was a shift. I actually cared about those who were misunderstanding and talking about me. That caring overtook the negative emotions that had previously fueled outbursts of self-defense and self-protection that held me captive. They lost their stranglehold grip on my heart.

If you find yourself desiring to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbor when your neighbor isn’t loving you, the only explanation for this is that Jesus bought back each aspect of who you are.

If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” ~ Luke 6:32-36

Boaz bought back Naomi’s land and Ruth, Mahlon’s widow. As a kinsman-redeemer, he was a tool in the hand of the Redeemer sending heartfelt gifts to Ruth and Naomi, providing for their needs.

“He’ll judge the poor, their young set free,

    And crush the ones who have oppressed.” ~ Psalm 72:4

Singing Psalm 72 you are bought back from violence

Israel was bought back from slavery in Egypt, in Babylon, and finally God bought back his people from the slavery of self-delusion when Jesus came to set us free with truth.

You are bought back from the extreme of niceness in relationships where you can be accused of almost saying something. Hinting at what bothers you, nebulous and unclear, you simultaneously cover over what you dislike about your interactions with a loved one. Unwilling to admit those feelings even to yourself, gift-giving smooths over feelings that are hard to face, yet they remain to fester and divide. An honest word gently spoken provides opportunity for understanding, forgiveness, and healing those raw emotions that, left to themselves only grow the more they are feared, ignored, and covered over with niceties. The niceties are intended to wipe them out, but they don't have that kind of power. Only the honest word from a heart of love has the potential to stop the flow of anger as each one commits to doing whatever it takes to correct what has become a wall between them in the friendship. Niceties are not kind when they are used to evade the truth. They are accomplices to lies. The person you have deceived with a gift you hope will walk away thinking you feel good about him when you don’t. You feel good about you for giving a gift. Giving is good, right? Therefore, if I give a gift to disguise my disgust for a man, that makes me good or at least better than him. You are bought back by Christ from the devil’s twisted clutches of planting such thoughts of deception and causing you to feel self-righteous in the lie to boot!

To the rich young ruler who felt good about his own righteousness, Jesus said: “No one is good except God alone.” ~ Mark 10:18

David foresaw the gifts the queen of Sheba would bring for his son, Solomon,

"May he live, and gold from Sheba's realm

    Then be given as a gift to him.

May the people always pray for him,

    May they bless his name throughout the day." ~ Psalm 72:15

Giving gifts with a sincere heart wishing for nothing in return is delightful. Giving them grudgingly or with other motives, less so.

"Many seek the favor of a generous man,

    and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts." ~ Proverbs 19:6

Jesus bought back your heart for himself and though you are his, you are never more yourself when you belong to him. You make allowance for insincerity when you remember the times you have been so yourself. As showers water the thirsty ground, he nourishes those thirsting for friendship and helps you be a friend to the lonely. Would you sell out for anything less when you are bought back by love himself?

"For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men." ~ 1 Corinthians 7:22-23

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." ~ Romans 12:1-2

A part of your body is your brain from where your thoughts proceed. Offer your sincere thoughts as gifts to the one who made you to think as he bought back your desire to live, move, and have your being.

You are bought back from a fragile identity in your own goodness. You no longer choose to do the thing that makes you feel better about yourself, that convinces you that you are a good person because you did this or that nicety. When you know that who you are is of great value as one made in the image of God, you not only can accept rebuke but invite it and take it as the gift of love that it is, that someone would care enough about you to risk being misunderstood and offer you what is rare and precious, a truthful, apt word, that comes from caring in thought and asking then trusting the Lord to make it all come out right. You and I will not die from a word that would correct our future steps to walk in the path of love that is always gentle even as it is tough. This as opposed to allowing resentment and bitterness to build up to an erupting volcano of acerbic truth that only serves to cut, burn, and sever rather than loving truth that cuts, mends, and heals.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no 'root of bitterness' springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” ~ Hebrews 12:14-15

“When just men strike me in reproof,

    Such kindness I’ll accept.

I’ll take it as a soothing oil,

    My head will not reject.

And yet I will continually

    Cry out in prayer to You

To protest all the evil deeds

    That wicked people do.” ~ Psalm 141:5

Hardening your heart to rebuke leads to wicked delusions, thoughts of violent machinations, and angry outbursts. Being cut to the heart leads to repentance.

The Lord in his truth bought back your heart from the lies of Satan and saved you from both internal and external violent explosions that inevitably occur from cloaking, covering, or stuffing your honest emotions. God alone can help you lay out the ugly truth before him so that he can transform and package your beautiful delivery of it thus making you a safe place for anyone to talk about whatever he needs to talk about. The Lord makes the perfect incisions to your heart that would lead you to receive the gift of repentance which brings times of refreshing.

Whoever gives an honest answer

    kisses the lips.” ~ Proverbs 24:26

You are bought back from placating your conscience or from being nice to someone because it benefits you to be thought well of by that person, or because there is something you want in return from that person.

When you get down to the nitty gritty of the violent nature of our self-protective thoughts, you begin to get a glimpse of what God sees:

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." ~ Genesis 6:5

And even after the great flood, the Lord laments, "for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth." Only in Christ are you bought back from being sold to depraved thoughts and actions and transformed to kind ones.

"For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” ~ Mark 7:21-23

"Have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?" ~ James 2:4-6

O Lord, please open the eyes of our hearts and give us strength to comprehend the riches of Christ’s love and to be rooted and grounded in it so that it is what informs our thoughts, words, and walk, our every step. Help us follow our good shepherd as his faithful sheep. Thank you for your word that gives us an inside look at his thoughts, words, and walk that we might meditate on his goodness and marvel that it is imputed to us!

Why do we need strength to comprehend this love? Because it requires that we get thoughts of the good that we can do out of the way and humbly receive the good that Christ did for us that we could never do. This requires spiritual strength.

“He will save the needy when they call,

    Save the poor, and those who have no help.” ~ Psalm 72:12

Singing Psalm 72 you are bought back and considered precious

He buys you back for himself to care for you in a way that uplifts you and sets you free from your sinful desires and from the cruel slave master who deceives you into thinking that you care more than God does.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd." ~ John 10:7-16

"But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." ~ 1 Corinthians 6:17-20

Gomer was all too aware that she had been sold, traded, and then left on the open market when she was no longer desirable and no one wanted her. Yet Gomer was bought back and treated as precious to Hosea in whom God implanted a heart of compassion and faithfulness as a picture of his own toward his unfaithful people.

Have you sold yourself to the god of this age, captivated by humanistic ideologies that leave God out? You are bought back by the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Jesus to renew your mind and give you a new heart.

Have you sold yourself to pleasure and sensuality like Gomer? You are bought back by the selfless love of Jesus displayed on the cross that woos you to seek to please him and not yourself.

Have you sold yourself to the pursuit of worldly riches? You are bought back by the promise of lasting treasure that cannot be taken away in covenant with Jesus, the one who sets you free for whom you would sell all to follow.

Because you are precious to God, you are bought back from unwholesome talk to speech that is gracious to those who hear you. You are bought back from nebulous thoughts to being able to give solid reasons for what you believe. You are bought back from angry violence stemming from self-protection to calm tenderness borne out of caring for others.

“May the Lord God, who alone does wonders –

May the God of Israel, be blessed!

Blessed be his name, glorious forever –

May his glory fill the earth! Amen.” ~ Psalm 72:18–19

May 10–17, 2024


bottom of page