Birthright

“Let us live and strive for freedom, in South Africa our land!”

Those and other words will be sung in the coming weeks as the British & Irish Lions face off against South Africa in a tournament that only happens once every 12 years (from the South African perspective).

Untrue words. Mere rhetoric.

Freedom. Free speech. Free thought. Is that Biblical? Is that Christian?

Beyond just an American perspective this 4th of July, yes, I believe that freedom, free speech and free thought is of God. The framers of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…”

In the beginning, when God created the universe and then man, before the fall, before creation was marred by sin, He gave Adam dominion over the earth and the animals.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A27+-+31&version=NIV

There was no hint that mankind should have dominion over his fellow man, and rule over him. Of course, the original state of things is changed somewhat since the Fall.

Spiritually, I long for fellowship with God.

Experientially, I long for freedom, as much freedom as I can get.

470 days of enforced lockdown is more injurious to me, my family, and my countrymen than any pathogen could ever be. Not quite the same as 450 years of slavery in Egypt, but I was reading this week of the children of Israel. Giddy with the freshness of liberty after leaving Egypt (kind of like their independence day), only to be confronted with the pursuing Egyptian army and ‘certain’ death.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+14%3A10+-+14&version=NIV

They cried out to the Lord (good) and then immediately turned on Moses (not good), sarcastically asking whether there weren’t enough graves in Egypt, whether Moses’ plan was to take them out to the middle of nowhere so as to establish a new cemetery. Egypt was synonymous with graves, crypts and burial chambers, so their sarcasm came across pretty thick.

Moses told them: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Honestly, would I have refrained from dishing out sarcasm to Moses? Probably not.

Would I have called out to the Lord? Probably. Would I have been still and just trusted Him? Not unless this were a sanitised version of reality.

I would have smart-mouthed the Egyptians if they were in earshot.

I long for my birthright of liberty. I long to be out from under Pharaoh’s decrees, conceived in spite and indifference.

But I have no weapon except a sharp, sinful, very sarcastic tongue. But on the other hand I do have a God who will do what is right.

And I must trust Him.

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-happiness

https://amgreatness.com/2021/07/01/of-rights-and-laws/

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