Free Indeed – July 4th Overflow
What does it mean to be free?
The Bible speaks a great deal about freedom. Throughout the pages of the Old Testament, the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, have several long periods of being enslaved by other nations ending with often dramatic events of being set free. One of the most famous of these events was Israel’s enslavement to Egypt, as recorded in the book of Exodus. I believe this event points to the difference between false freedom and true freedom.
To summarize the situation, the Jews had been slaves to Egypt for over 400 years. God calls Moses to be His instrument to tell Pharaoh, the leader of Egpyt, to “let my people go”. Pharoah refuses to let his slave labor force go and through a series of miraculous plagues, God continually reveals to Pharoah and to all of Egypt that He means business. Following the 10th and final plague, Pharoah relents and tells Moses to take all of the Israelites and leave. Pharoah, the leader of Egypt (and arguably the leader of the world at that time), had finally set them free!
Not much time passes and Pharoah has a change of mind. “When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” (Exodus 14:5) So Pharoah orders his armies to pursue the Israelites. The powerful Egyptian army catches up with the Israelite people and has them trapped between them and the Red Sea. The people didn’t feel free anymore! The people complained and some even wished that they were back as slaves, “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:12b) Freedom granted by man can, and always will, be revoked.
But God intervenes with yet another miracle. God makes a way through the Red Sea so that the Israelites walk through it on dry ground. The Egyptian army followed them in but God swept the sea back over them and every single one of them died. Every one of God’s people were saved. Every one of the enemies of God lay dead on the sea shore.
“That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” (Exodus 14:30-31)
How do you think the Israelites felt at this moment? They were safely on the other side of the Red Sea and had just witnessed God deliver them from their enemies through a dramatic miracle. They were free … and they knew it. They were secure, because God had set them free.
The same can be true for you if you put your faith and trust in Jesus. You can be set free from the penalty of sin and death and be given new life in Jesus. And you can rest assured that you are safe and secure because He has set you free. Your freedom cannot be revoked.
Jesus promises, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36)