I watched wide-eyed as our nation raged. Our rulers prepared for battle, plotted and cried out, “Let’s free ourselves from this slavery!”
Who did they cry out against? What was the slavery? According to Psalm 2, none other than the Lord God because they didn’t want him telling them what to do. Neither did their citizens.
If a situation called for a little lying or stealing or cheating, why not? If they felt like using God’s name like a swear word, so what? If keeping their businesses open on Sunday meant turning a bigger profit, that was their call. If they ignored their parents or any other authority–who, by the way, weren’t all that wise or great anyway–that was their call. If they found someone attractive and wanted to sleep with that person without benefit of marriage, hey, whose business was it but theirs?
Who did God think he was anyway? And what about the many world religions with plenty of gods to chose from? Worship only the Lord God? Obey only him? Forget that!
So they raged on and plotted, filling willing ears with their own version of right and wrong. Inviting others to join their enlightenment, they truly believed they were working toward freedom.
But the Lord God shook his head sadly. He never meant his rules to enslave! He set those boundaries to protect his people, to free them to live in peace and safety and love with one another and with him. Yet each had to choose this peace and safety and love for themselves. Free choice was his gift to each.
Yet to keep us from being destroyed by our freedom, he daily urges us to choose wisely.
Focus: “Be warned … Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son … what joy for all who find protection in him!” ~ Psalm 2:10-12, New Living Translation.
How about you? How do you choose to use your God-given freedom?
(This blog post is adapted from a July 2001 piece published by Together In Faith in my ten-year column, Love With Shoes On.)