“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts” (Psalm 119:45).
July 4th is called Independence Day here in our country because on that date 244 years ago our Declaration of Independence was signed, and the message went out to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10). Political and national liberties were mainly in view at the time, but these also included religious liberty, the most important freedom of all, for it involves the issue of everlasting life in heaven or in hell. Soon afterwards, for the first time in history, the principle of freedom of religion was incorporated in a nation’s constitution via our Bill of Rights, and our nation has been uniquely blessed as a result all these years.
True liberty of religion, however, necessarily depends on free access to the word of God, so that all citizens can learn the plan of God for His creation and their own personal lives. The Lord Jesus said: “If ye continue in My word, then . . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31,32).
That is, true freedom results from continued study of the Scriptures and obedience to them. As long as one is a slave to his own desires, he cannot know true liberty. But God’s word promises that “sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14), and Jesus said: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
The word “liberty” in our text verse conveys this idea of great enlargement of activity and understanding, greater liberty than one could ever know if he does not “seek thy precepts”! “Thy commandment,” the psalmist testified, “is exceeding broad” (Psalm 119:96). We are greatly privileged in this nation, and we are responsible to use our liberty wisely and faithfully in obedience to the word of God.
Adapted from Dr. Morris’ Days of Praise devotional “Liberty And The Word Of God.” Originally posted on July 4, 2001.
*Dr. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder of the Institute for Creation Research.
Liberty and the Word of God