While most of the “United” States is getting ready to celebrate its Independence day with bright patriotic fireworks displays, barbeques and sports (maybe sports?), I am joining in the festivities but for a WHOLE other reason. My REAL or true Independence Day from the world.
Now before you get after me, I want to share with you a Bible story. Yes, it’s meant to make you think and take stock and meditate on God Almighty and His Sovereignty, but unlike the “United” States of America that is spiraling ever downward, there is hope for our future Independence Days, but we as a people have to be willing to listen.
Oh yeah, before I get into the actual Bible story, here’s a little Scripture to commemorate what we are celebrating:
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” – Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV).
Notice the theme of Unity throughout these six verses. This is where TRUE unity lies! Now for the promised Bible Story. . . . (Some names have been changed to protect the destroyed and to make us consider).
*”Come, unconquered one, sit in the dust. For your days of glory, pomp, and honor have ended. O daughter, never again will you be the lovely princess (or leader), tender and delicate. Take heavy millstones and grind the corn. Remove your veil and strip off your prestigious garments. Expose yourself to public view where you will be naked AND burdened with shame. I, the Lord, WILL take vengeance against you and will not negotiate further.”
Our Redeemer, whose name is the Lord Almighty, is the Holy One of ALL!
“O daughter, sit now in darkness and silence. Never again will you be known at the queen or leader of nations. For I, the Lord, was angry with my own people and allowed them to suffer in your hands. But you showed them no mercy in your persecution. You have forced even the elderly to carry heavy burdens while robbing what was rightfully theirs. You thought, ‘I will reign forever as leader of all!’ You did not care at all about My people, or think about the consequences of your actions.”
“You ARE a pleasure-crazy nation, living at ease and feeling secure, bragging as if you were the greatest in all the world! You say to all who will listen, ‘I’m self-sufficient and not accountable to anyone! I will never be a widow or lose my children.’ Well, those two very things will come upon you in a single moment: widowhood and the loss of your children. Yes, these calamities will come upon you, despite all your witchcraft and magic.”
“You felt so secure in all your wickedness. ‘No one sees me,’ you said. Your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have caused you to turn away and reject Me and claim, ‘I am self-sufficient and not accountable to anyone!’ So disaster will overtake you suddenly, and you won’t be able to charm it away. Calamity WILL fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out no matter how rich you or your donors are. A catastrophe will arise so fast that you won’t know what hit you.”
“Call out the demon hordes you have worshipped all these years in secret. Ask them to help you strike terror into the hearts of the people once again. You have more than enough advisers, astrologers and stargazers at the ready. Let them stand up and save you from what the future holds in store. Sadly for you, they are as useless as dried grass burning in a fire. They cannot even save themselves from the fury to come! You will get no help from them at all. Their hearth is not a place you will be able to sit for warmth. AND, all your friends, those with whom you have done business with since childhood, some in secret, will slip away and disappear, unable to help even a little.”
Look! The Lord is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. See how the people are scattering over the face of the earth. No one is spared, neither priests nor laypeople, servants or masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors, for all will be gone! The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The Lord has spoken!
The earth dries up, the crops wither, the skies refuse to rain. The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have TWISTED the instructions of God, violated His laws, broken His everlasting covenant and rejected Him! Therefore, a curse consumes the earth and its people.
But my heart is heavy with grief. I am discouraged, for evil STILL prevails, and treachery is everywhere. Therefore, terror and traps and snares will be the lot of the sinful people of earth. Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will step into a snare.
Are you amazed and incredulous? Do you not believe it? Then go ahead and be blind if you must. You are stupid, but not from wine! You stagger, but not from beer! For the Lord Himself has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has closed the eyes of those false prophets and visionaries that you rely so much upon. All these future events are a sealed book to them. When you give the facts to them to read for themselves, they will say, “We can’t read it because it is sealed.” When you give it to those who cannot discern or read, they will say, “Sorry we don’t know what it says.”
And so the Lord says, “These people SAY they are mine. They honor me with their lips but their hearts are far, far away. AND, their worship of Me worship of me amounts to a farce, for they merely teach human commands and teachings to be memorized! BUT, because of this, I will do wonders among these hypocrites. I will show that their human wisdom is utterly foolish and even the most brilliant and intellectual people lack understanding.”
Destruction is certain for those who try to hide their devious plans from the Lord, who think they are able to keep Him in the dark concerning what they do! “The Lord can’t see us,” you say to yourselves. “He doesn’t know even a little what is going on!” How stupid can you be? He IS the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you for you are only the clay to become the jars He makes! Should the thing that was created say to the One who made it, “He didn’t make us”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?
Soon – and it will not be very long – deaf people will hear words read from a book, and the blind will see through the gloom and the darkness. The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. Those who are poor will rejoice in the Holy One of All. Those who intimidate and harass will be gone as well as all those who have plotted evil against the Lord’s people. Those who make the innocent guilty by their false testimony will also disappear. And those who use trickery and deceit to pervert justice and tell lies to tear down the innocent will be no more!
In that day the heir to David’s throne, will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to Him, for the land where He will live will be a glorious place. Look, a righteous King is coming! And honest princes will rule under Him. He will shelter His people from the storm and the wind. He will refresh them as a river in the desert and as the cool shadow of a large rock in a hot and weary land. Then everyone who can see will be looking for God, and those who can hear will listen to His voice.
Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is My chosen One, and I am pleased with Him. I have put my Spirit upon Him. He will reveal justice to the nations. He will not crush those who are weak or quench the smallest hope. He will bring full justice to all who have been wronged. He will not stop until truth and righteousness prevail throughout the earth.
God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath and life to everyone in all the world. And it is He who says, “I, the Lord, have called You to demonstrate my righteousness. I will guard and support you, for I have given You to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide all nations to Me. You will open the eyes of those blinded by the enemy of their souls and free the captives who are in prison, chained to sin. You will release those who sit in dark dungeons.”
“I am the Lord; that is My Name! I will NOT give My glory to anyone else. I will NOT share my praise with carved idols or idols of ANY kind. Everything I have prophesied has come true, and now I prophesy again and what I tell you happens in the future WILL happen! I tell you BEFORE it happens!”
Thus the Prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz wrote down for all to read and be aware of and forewarned. He wrote these words sometime between 770 B.C. to 681 B.C. How true they apply to what is going on in our nation and the world as a whole almost 3000 years later! Any doubts about the validity of God’s unchanging Word or His Character?!!
You liberty, your independence can only be found in the free gift given by God Almighty through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself stated this, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6 (NKJV).
The Apostle Paul confirms our true liberty, freedom, and independence when He made this statement about those who read the Scriptures still blinded; and this statement holds true even these many centuries later:
“But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians 3:14-17 (NKJV).
This nation that was once the United States of America, will one day suffer God’s judgment like every other nation that rejected Him and abandoned His values. His Word is true and unchanging and He Himself does not change. Though He IS longsuffering and patient, He has never stopped being a just God and that “justness” demands that eventually the nation’s sinfulness and wickedness be dealt with.
However, no matter the nation or country you live in, accepting the Kingdom of God, through Christ Jesus into your heart and life and abiding IN Him, guarantees a liberty and independence that has already been fought and won and that can never be taken away from you!
God bless you all this Independence Day! May it be a Spiritual one!
*This Bible story is taken somewhat liberally from the Book of Isaiah with help from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996 edition, (NLT). I have added some adjectives and left out some names to make the point that it can apply to us, in this very age and day we are living. So, though the NLT was used as a foundation, it is NOT word for word in its entirety.
The following chapters were referenced in Isaiah: Chapters 11, 24, 29, 32, and 47.