There are two kinds of Isolations, there is social and emotional:
1. Social isolation is an almost or near-complete non-contact with any individual; and
2. Emotional isolation is a state of isolation where one may have a well-functioning social world of people and things; and are isolated emotionally because they keep their feelings entirely to themselves. In this case emotional support from a brother, sister or friends is impossible.
Many of God’s people heretofore have experienced both kinds of isolations noted above:
1. Young Joseph experienced social isolation when he was cut off from the company of his family that he so dearly loved. His own brothers orchestrated Joseph’s initial isolation. They lowered him on the bed of the pit before they sold him to foreigners. Because of Joseph’s walk with God he suffered emotional isolation in Potiphar’s house and then in prison the place he was incarcerated after being falsely accused for attempted rape (see Genesis 37:12-end; 39).
2. Jeremiah was placed in a cistern that was his new residence because of his belief in God and his proclamation of God’s Word (see Jer. 38:1-13).
3. Paul was imprisoned on several occasions for the defense of the body of Christ.
4. John the apostolic leader of the church at Ephesus in A.D 70, a teacher of the Word and a witness for Jesus Christ (see Rev.1:9) was banished to the Island of Patmos. Just like the others above, they were all not imprisoned for criminal behaviour; they were all incarcerated for political reasons.
These men were prisoners for their consciences’ sake. Their freedom was violated by such detention simply for their thought, conscience and their belief.
5. In the country of China Christians are enduring social and emotional imprisonment in light of a government-backed cross demolition campaign; it is in the thousands of church crosses that have been destroyed. Hundreds of church leaders are detained without trial dates in sight and numerous church buildings have been torn down. Pastor Zhang was imprisoned for several months and he was convicted on made up charges of stealing, spying, illegally providing state secrets or intelligence to bodies outside of China.
It must be noted that all the imprisonment that are mentioned and the others in Scripture have all resulted in the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ (see Phil.1:12-13). Their social and emotional isolation took away the men of God’s happiness, but their joy remained intact. This is how the Apostle Paul puts it, “ I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.