Free to Worship and Serve Our Living God
Remember how God’s people cried out for deliverance from the heavy oppressive hand of Pharaoh while they lived as slaves in Egypt. They were not sure at the time if God heard their desperate cries for help. They doubted God’s care and concern for their painful, hopeless situation. Certainly God did still care and had not forgotten his commitment and promises to His people.
Ex. 2:23-25 – During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. (24) God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. (25) So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
Although God’s people were faithless and full of doubt at this time, the fact was God full of compassion and “was concerned about them.” We now know the action God took to free His people from their bondage and slavery in Egypt. His choosing Moses and Aaron to lead them across the Red Sea opened wide by God’s mighty hand. Ex. 14:21-22 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, (22) and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
God delivered His people in order to make good on His promise to lead them to the “promise land”. But that wasn’t the only reason. They were not just freed for freedom’s sake, not just to enjoy their freedom and do anything they please. God’s higher purpose and intention for them was that they might be free to worship and serve their God. That He might simply be their God and they His people. Ex. 3:18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’ God’s will for His people involved spiritual freedom as well as physical freedom from the bondage and slavery they experienced in Egypt.
Ex. 8:1- Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
God’s people did experience a new found faith and trust in God after their deliverance. They had peace and joy in their hearts they had not felt for quite some time as they sang out God. Ex. 14:31- And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. Ex. 15:1-3 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. (2) “The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (3) The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.
Jesus came to set the “oppressed free”- Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, (19) to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” He came to set us free from sin that we might worship and serve our living God during our short stay in this physical world. Our challenge is to use our God granted freedom to serve God and serve one another. Gal 5:13-14 – You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (14) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
It’s ironic that now having been freed from the bondage of sin we as Christians voluntarily subject ourselves to slavery once again. We exercise our God given freedom and choose to be slaves of Christ. 1 Pet. 2:15-16- For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (16) Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. During this time of celebration of our national freedom and independence let’s take time to consider how we might use our God given freedom to serve God and serve others.
Free to Worship and Serve Our Living God