"And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts" (Psalm 119:45).
July 4th is called Independence Day in the United States because on this date over 230 years ago the 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 into the nation's constitution via the Bill of Rights, and the entire 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. HMM
* Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.