Leviticus 26:13--I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to live in freedom.
When we celebrate the 4th of July in the United States, we evoke great patriotic memories and, hopefully, feelings of gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy. Yet, whether we live in America, Israel, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, or France, none of us experience liberty apart from divine providence. God enables us to live in freedom in a world claimed by the prince of darkness. It is a treasure quickly lost when any nation turns its back or is oblivious to Him; complacent to satisfy the competing lusts of an insatiable flesh or rebellious to His good and pleasing will. Thomas Paine, proclaimed that “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” Without sustained adherence to God’s moral commands and allegiance to His holy name, freedom shrivels like some unwatered plant soiled in corrupt hands.
Thomas Carlyle, recording a tumultuous period in the history of France when freedom was an ungrasped concept, wrote in French Revolution I:
"Great meanwhile is the moment, when tidings of Freedom reach us; when the long-enthralled soul, from amid its chains and squalid stagnancy, arises, were it still only in blindness and bewilderment, and swears by Him that made it, that it will be free! Free? Understand that well, it is the deep commandment, dimmer or clearer, of our whole being to be free. Freedom is the one purport, wisely aimed at, or unwisely, of all man’s struggles, toilings and sufferings, in this earth."
C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain, noted, “Again, the freedom of a creature must mean freedom to choose: and choice implies the existence of things to choose between.” Boiled to a simplistic state is our ability to choose between good and evil; whether to accept servitude or fight for liberty. God broke the Egyptian yoke to free His people. They had to choose to leave and follow Him to gain true freedom. Choice at a personal level is magnified when we as a tribe make corporate decisions. To put on our coinage, “In God We Trust” is a corporate choice. To establish and obey moral laws is a corporate choice.
To live in freedom requires: a right understanding of history; appreciation for its very essence; vigilant discernment as to what threatens it; the ability to repent and turn from rebellious behavior; a humble recognition that God is its author coupled with allegiance to His will; and, an enduring commitment to preserve it at all costs.
Beyond the vaporous liberty of life on earth is the hope to live in eternal freedom with our perfect Father. In truth, He will bring us out of slavery on earth to emancipation in heaven. Sin is forgiven, Satan is shackled, death is destroyed amidst the loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. (Revelation 21:3,4)
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)