Yesterday was the 4th of July, a holiday celebrating 240 years of the United States as an independent nation. It is the day we show our devotion to America as we dress in red, white and blue, wave the flag unabashedly, and in various ways proclaim the freedom that we have as a people. For my family the two main ways we celebrated were in going to the parade in Pagosa Springs in the morning and attending the fireworks in Dulce at the end of the day.
It was a beautiful night for fireworks and the show was great. There was much oohing, ahhing, hooting and honking of horns as spectacular displays of color exploded and faded from the sky. After we got home from the fireworks and were in the process of ending our day I read this online from a friend as he defined freedom,
"There are a lot of people these days that believe that freedom is a person's right to do anything they want. This is of course false since one person's actions may infringe on another person's liberty. Freedom is a person's opportunity to do what is morally right and proper."
I had that thought of "what is morally right and proper" in mind as Robin and I sat down to end our day with the Bible and prayer. Last night we read Psalm 51, which is David's confession of sin and plea for mercy after he has realized the truth of his sin with Bathsheba. David makes no excuses for what he did as he comes before the Lord God.
What David did with Bathsheba was the complete opposite of the definition of freedom my friend gave. It was morally wrong and improper. And in reading the psalm, verse 12 jumped out at me.
"Restore me to the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."
We could write an entire book about the wrong that David did in human terms when he pursued Bathsheba, and the many people who suffered from that wrong. In Psalm 51 we see that David has learned that his actions had another victim, himself, for he has blatantly violated God's good rules for human living and placed himself in bondage before God. Unlike the founders of the United States, David cannot declare his freedom and force God to give it to him. David can only own up to what he did and cast himself before God for mercy.
Ultimately, the mercy that David seeks comes through Christ. It is only through the work of Christ, laying down His own life for the redemption of people who would turn towards God and seek His mercy, that can break the chains of bondage that come from David's sin. It is only the work of Christ that can free any sinner from their sin.
Freedom in Christ is what freedom truly looks like. It is God's free gift to all who would look into their own hearts, see what is really there, and then turn towards Christ to know the joy of salvation.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.