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Pastor Alan J. Wright (The Word Center Church)FREEDOM
By Pastor Alan J. WrightThe Word Center Church
In America, the Fourth of July is a day of celebration. On this day in 1776, America declared itself independent of Great Britain.
When a day of celebration or a holiday has been declared, the questions that arise are what and why? What and why was it necessary to be free of the rule of Great Britain?
Oppression from Great Britain came in many forms. One of great importance was religious oppression. According to documents penned by the founding fathers of this great nation, the people wanted the freedom to worship God according to the teaching of the Holy Bible. Furthermore, this new nation would need the guidance from the God of the Bible to effectively govern.
Reliance upon God in order to govern effectively is not a new concept. Looking back to the book of Exodus, the people of God in the land of Egypt found themselves in a state of oppression. They were not only being oppressed as slaves, but they had no freedom to worship the God of their fathers.
Something would have to be done. The God of the Bible is a God of righteousness and equity. This being the case, He is unwilling that another people should enslave any.
"And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows: and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians." (Exodus 3:7, 8a) The action of God is prompted, not just as an answer to the cry of His people, but by what is right.
In the process of time, God does indeed deliver the children of Israel. However, God does more than deliver. He gives them methods and means to govern, and to be an example to all nations of how fairness in government functions.
God gave laws and governing principles to His people, not to enslave but to set them free. It is with this idea in mind that consideration must be given to America as a nation. God always sends a deliverer.
In Bible times, God sent Moses to deliver and lead His people to the land of promise. He then chose Joshua to take them into that land. From Moses until the coming of Jesus, God has always used humanity to free and deliver humanity.
In the establishing of this great nation God used the same tools, humanity. The founding fathers, the citizens of this new land, and all of their wealth and resources would ban together and strike a blow for freedom.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones and John Hancock are just a few of that company of men and women who were dedicated to the cause of freedom.
During the time when there was a race of people enslaved in America, many abolitionists were raised up to wage a righteous war against oppression. Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Marcus Garvey, to name a few.
And finally after a deadly civil war, the Emancipation Proclamation by the hand of Abraham Lincoln was signed into law. In more modern times, Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died for the rights of all people to be free.
America has been the recipient of a great gift. That gift is freedom. But a key word to the maintenance of freedom is, "remember."
The Fourth of July causes us to remember why our nation came into being. We have a responsibility of major proportions, both to our own nation, and the other nations of the world. If it is not remembered why America came into being, we are in danger of losing the freedom we so richly cherish.
It is still, "One nation under God with liberty and justice for all."