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Monday, July 4, 2016

False Liberty or True Freedom (Isaiah 14:13-15)

 "You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

As the United States of America celebrates her independence today, much talk will center on freedom--liberty bought by people willing to lay down their lives for what they believed was right. Sadly a new meaning has been attached to freedom, and this new meaning is tearing apart the very fabric of our country and our spiritual lives

The old freedom was the freedom to do right; every person free to fulfill his or her potential, free to work hard, free to succeed or fail in genuine effort. The new liberty is a poor shadow of the old, for this new freedom is the freedom and right to do wrong, the right to exalt the all-important "I" to the center, the right to trample on everyone else to be sure my rights are paramount. 

This new freedom is not really new; Isaiah shows us its genesis in the voice of the devil. He exalts himself, seeks to throw off the rule of God, and makes himself equal to the one true God. 

This new freedom is not really free either; instead of enjoying the beauty of heaven, the enemy now pouts on earth, and devours the unaware while he waits for the day of his final destruction. Years ago Milton wrote that the devil would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. Today, that attitude pervades contemporary thinking. People would operate in total freedom to do as they will now without any regard to the eternal slavery to sin and the devil that awaits them.

Which freedom are you seeking today? Are you seeking the true freedom that allows you to fulfill your responsibilities, reach your full potential, and succeed with genuine effort? Or, are you seeking the "freedom" of this world, a liberty that assures selfish ambition at its center and total destruction as its end?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible Reading:
Isaiah 13:1-16:14
  • Describe Isaiah's vision of the Day of the Lord. What analogies does he use to describe Babylon as a nation?
  • What is the instrument of God's judgment against Babylon?
  • What hope does God promise to His people in the midst of this judgment?
  • How does God demonstrate the surety of His promises and His purposes?
  • What punishments does God send on Moab?
  • What becomes of those who oppress Israel? What does this tell us about God?
Turning Truth to Prayer
Pray for our nation, that God will grant us hearts of repentance. Though "the whole world is under the sway of the Wicked One," pray that believers would walk in the glorious liberty of the sons of God.