For freedom Christ has set us free; - Galatians 5:1a (ESV)
Helen Grey was finding summer to be almost perfect except for the heat. Helen Grey was one of those people that preferred cooler weather, much cooler than the 90's that had been baking Pupperville for the last week. Despite the heat, Helen knew that the churches flower gardens needed to be taken care of and she had found the perfect help, or so she thought.
As the Girls are Girls club pulled up in the parking lot on their bicycles Mindy Miller hollered out “I'm Not Helping!” “What do you mean you're not helping?” Helen called out to her, “You promised to help like the rest of your club.”
“I don’t care.” Mindy hollered back, “I’m tired of doing things for other people. Including you and this church.” “Then why did you bother to show up?” Helen wanted to know. “To let you know that you are not my boss” Mindy answered, “And that from now on I am my own boss.”
“Mindy!” Helen said in disgust, “You know I’ve never made you do anything. Not even volunteer to help here today.” “Well, ugh,” Mindy stammered, “From now on I will only do what I want to do. I’m going to be just like everybody else.” “Everybody else?” Helen questioned, “What are you talking about?”
“Yeah,” Mindy said, “From now on I do what I want when I want to. Besides this is a free country and I shouldn’t have to obey anybody.” “Mindy!” Helen exclaimed in shock, “What's happened to you?” “Nothing!” Mindy replied. “Than why the change in attitude?” Helen Demanded to know. “You never behaved this rudely before.”
“If you must know,” Mindy snorted, “Independence Day is this coming week and I thought I would declare mine as well.” “That's not a good idea.” Helen injected. “My parents didn’t think so either,” Mindy replied, “but I don’t care. I will do what ever I want when I want and they won’t be able to stop me. Besides, they’re letting me be independent.”
“What?” Helen gasped, “They’re actually going along with this scheme of yours.” “Not that they have a choice,” Mindy laughed, “But yes.” “Well,” Helen said shaking her head, “Along with independence there comes responsibility. Are you ready for that?” “That’s what me parents said.” Mindy frowned, “But I don’t care I don’t want responsibility I want to be free.”
“And of course, you can’t forget consequences.” Helen added. “Cons a what?” Mindy said a little puzzled, “Have you been talking to my parents because they said something about cons a what’s too and that I would have to learn them the hard way. Hey! I got an idea, maybe you could teach me what cons a whatever they are, are. Well, maybe later, my favorite show is on TV and I need to get going. Hope you girls have fun weeding the flowers.”
Mindy wanted her independence. She wanted to be free. But just how free can she be? Should she be? Does she really want to be?
So Israel took his journey with all that he had … and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, Genesis 46:1-6 (ESV)
Israel moves to the land of Egypt. Once there a prophecy is fulfilled that was given to Abraham in Genesis 15:13 where the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. (ESV) At the end of those 400 years the people cry out, God hears their cry and sends help in the man called Moses. But just how free did the Israelite want to be? Let's follow the Israelites as they travel out of Egypt and towards the promise land.
- Exodus 14:10-12 - When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." (ESV)
- Exodus 16:2-3 - And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger. (ESV) "
- Numbers 13:31-14:4 Then the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are." So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, "The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them." Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to one another, "Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt." (ESV)
God set the Israelites free but it seems that's not what they wanted. We are told Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1) but like Israel do we really want our freedom?
John 8:31-34 - So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in 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'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. (ESV) - NOT SLAVES? At the time this was said the Jews were under bondage to to Rome. They were not free nor were they free from sin. They were slaves. Romans 6:16 says 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? It's Independence Day week in the USA but how free are we?
Here's Something To Ponder
- How Free can you truly be?
- To whom or what would you rather be enslaved?