Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Freedom of Choice

Entrance of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin 006 - Aug 2011
Freedom.  For Americans, this is a term often taken for granted.  For Christians, it has much deeper meaning.  Jeremiah discusses one type of freedom that God gives in a very clear and concise way.  He talks about the choice to either have freedom from the bondage of sin or freedom to sin and face the consequences set forth in God's word.  

The book of Jeremiah is a relatively bleak book with the proclamation of impending judgment, but in the midst of this judgment is the promise of deliverance if the people would just choose to follow God.  In Jeremiah chapter 34, God tells the Israelites that He is releasing them to the judgment that he had set forth because of their sins, among them the choice they made not to free their servants at the appointed time.

Even in the midst of the Lord's anger though, he tells Jeremiah that he should tell the people all that He spoke.  This was in the hopes that they would turn from their sin.  Even after telling of the impending calamity, He still promised forgiveness and freedom from the judgment if they would turn back to him (Jeremiah 36:1-3).   

In chapters 38 and 39, we see an example of God granting his promised freedom from judgment to one man.  While the other people were doing what was right in their own eyes, Ebed-melech trusted in God and helped Jeremiah.  Because of his actions, God promised, "I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me" (Jeremiah 39:18).  

God still grants this same freedom to us.  Romans 6:23 tells us that "the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus."  He desires all of us to be saved, but it is a gift that we must accept.  If we reject his gift, then He gives us the freedom to chose death just as He gave the people of Jeremiah's time.  If we want to choose life then we must trust and obey Him as Ebed-melech did.  
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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