4 Simple but Bold Ways to Keep our Freedoms - Connecting Truth to Life

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July 4 is Independence Day in the United States of America. Along with picnics and ball games, we fly the American Flag and celebrate with fireworks. This is the annual remembrance of the day when fifty-six men representing thirteen colonies signed a document declaring our freedom from the tyrannical rule of Great Britain’s king. After they signed it, they began to form our government “by the people and for the people.” As the reader may know, most early Americans came to the new world for religious freedom. They based their laws upon the Bible. Our country had a good foundation and has enjoyed liberty for 245 years. How do we keep it? This Independence Day and always, there are 4 simple but bold ways to keep our freedoms.

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (use your browser arrow to return): Micah 1:1-8; 2 Kings 16:19-20; 2 Kings 17:3-41; 2 Kings 18:1-2, 7b-12; Isaiah 5:8-30; 2 Chronicles 28:26–29:1; 1 Chronicles 4:34-43

Way 1: Make the LORD our advocate, not our judge

In today’s chronological Bible reading, the northern kingdom of Israel loses her nation. God is her judge, and the verdict is: guilty! God uses the country of Assyria to carry out the sentence. For three years, Shalmaneser V, king of Assyria, lays siege to the city of Samaria until she wastes away for lack of food and strength. Assyria conquers Israel, loots her treasuries, and
exiles the captives. Judah, her sister nation, is next if she does not mend her ways.

Way 2: Worship God and do good, not evil

Why did God allow Assyria to capture and exile her people? The
charges are plainly laid out in detail (2Kings 17:7-23, 34-40), but basically,
these are the reasons:

  • God said Israel was not to worship anyone or anything besides him. The LORD considers idol worship a personal offense—it is adultery. Israel became an unfaithful wife prostituting herself before her lovers and their images (her lovers were other nations from whom she sought help). Israel did this constantly and without
  • Israel forsook the law of the LORD. Her priests and kings no longer read it. King Jeroboam cast out the priests, whose duty was to instruct the people in the ways of the LORD. He installed his own priests and encouraged idol worship on high hills and groves instead of worshipping God in Jerusalem.
  • Israel was more evil than the nations the LORD had driven out of Canaan, the Promised Land. Although God sent many prophets to warn them of judgment and urge them to repent, they would not listen. They persisted in their evil deeds. His patience with Israel and Judah lasted almost 700 years from the time of their Exodus from Egypt. Finally, God had enough of their wickedness. God punishes Israel now but allows Judah, her sister nation, 136 more years of grace.
  • Israel >was a theocratic nation; that is, God instituted the laws she was to obey. He gave them priests and kings, but they were unfaithful leaders. They led their nation into great and grievous sins. Even some of God’s prophets were unfaithful.

Way 3: Count the cost

The cost of losing freedom is high. Our nation is not a theocratic nation, but King David applies this to all countries when he writes,

“Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 144:15, NIV).

Are we guilty of great and grievous sins? How long will God allow us to keep our freedom? We do not know, and we should not test his patience. In fear of God’s judgment, we should turn from our sins and ask him for mercy. The LORD offers us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life.

After Assyria conquers Israel, they replace the Israelites with foreigners. However, because the new residents pollute Samaria (Palestine) with their idol worship, God sends lions to attack them. Alerted to the tragedy, the king of Assyria takes a Jewish priest from exile. He brings him to the occupied land to teach the people how to worship God to appease his anger. Nevertheless, they continue worshipping their own gods in addition to the LORD.

Strangers in their homeland are intermarrying with the small population of Jews dispersed in Israel. These unions of Jew and Gentiles form the Samaritans, a despised people.

What price will sin extract from us? Those who persist in their sins may prosper for a while but for how long? Will they lose their home, property, possessions, or country? Will others occupy their place or nation?

Way 4: Learn from our mistakes and make better choices

The nation of Judah remains in her land. She observes God’s judgment against Israel and sees Israel’s captors take her people into exile. For a short while, Judah fears the LORD and lives righteously under King Hezekiah.

What about us? When we see others suffer judgment for their sins, do we seek to mend our ways, or do we continue sinning, thinking we will escape dire consequences? Let us turn from our sins and be obedient to God. Let us keep teaching the truth of his Word. This will give our nation and people the best chance to preserve our liberty.

Discussion Questions: 

Where is truth and freedom for the soul found? (John 8:31-36)

If we are guilty of sin as a nation or as individuals, what should we do to keep our liberties? What else can we do?

Focus Verse
Romans 6:22, NIV “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

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Looking Ahead: Now that Assyria has conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, she is arrogant and greedy to conquer more nations. But Isaiah prophesies that she will Fall from GreatnessIn our Next Lesson we will look at the dangers of pride and arrogance, which we must avoid to receive God’s blessings. Join us!

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