Sunday, March 18, 2007

I Will Always Obey Your Law... and Walk in Freedom


Sixth letter of the Hebrew alephbet

What an uplifting song, this sixth poem the extols the unfailing love of God and his delightful commands. Only in the Scriptures do you put those two words together: delightful & commands. I don't know about you, but I have an intrinsic resistance to being commanded to do anything. People can suggest stuff to me, they can instruct me, they can influence me, they can explain to me, they can try to convince me, but once they try to TELL me what to do...I put up my wall. But this poet says that he delights in God's commands/decrees/law.

He makes, what seems to be, a contrasting point: within God's laws/commands I can experience freedom. Huh?

The working definition of freedom that I live/breathe is: I can do whatever I want. No boundaries. Have it your way. Break the rules. But this author asserts, from a much deeper, authentic reflection: freedom can't be sustained in that kind of abyss. Even as I write this, I wince. It is hard for me to conceive of freedom as something I experience because of commands, not outside of commands.

Maybe another way to conceive of freedom is: able to live a kind of life with just one master who loves loyally. The implication is, that without having one master that we choose, we end up having multiple masters we don't choose, and thus freedom becomes an illusion, rather than a limited reality. Freedom under God's rule may not seem to be as boundless as what advertisers promise their product can deliver, BUT freedom does not come based on the next purchase we make, but on the ONE purchase that God made on our behalf. God purchased our freedom from the enslavement of sin, and bought us to be not his slaves, but his sons and daughters. That is the kind of freedom we can have, and we learn how to live within that freedom through His instructions in Scripture.

Ah LORD, I do reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees...for then I will be able to walk about in freedom.

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