For the week of January 22, 2005 / 12 Shevat 5765
Torah: Shemot / Exodus 13:17 - 17:16
Haftarah: Shoftim / Judges 4:4 - 5:31

True Freedom

But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. (Shemot / Exodus 14:29,30)

Last week I referred to how the deliverance of the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt was truly an act of God. Pharaoh had been relentless in his stubborn refusal to keep Israel enslaved. Even after God sent nine terrible disasters upon Egypt, Pharaoh continued to unjustly keep Israel in bondage. Following the tenth plague, where every first-born human and animal offspring among the Egyptians died, Pharaoh told Moses and the people to leave. Yet again Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his army after them to bring them back.

So many of us know what it is like to be dogged by oppression. That oppression might be of a social nature much like that of the ancient Israelites. There are many people today who are held in bondage to slavery, various forms of physical or emotional abuse, and racism. Those who enjoy social freedom tend to be slow to realize that this kind of oppression really does exist today; but it does.

Others live in all kinds of mental, spiritual, or emotional bondage. Many long to be free from fear and other destructive thought patterns, addictions, demonic oppression, depression, mental illness and so on.

Whatever our bondage, getting free is not easy. Like Pharaoh these things are relentless. For even when we get glimpses of freedom, our oppression constantly hounds us, seeking to overwhelm us again.

In the story of the people of Israel crossing the Red Sea, we see a case in which the oppressed are truly delivered from their oppression. Whatever other struggles they would have to face later on, Pharaoh and his taskmasters would never again have any control over their lives.

Last week I referred to how God desires to free us today just as he did the Israelites of long ago. I stated that the freedom God offers us through Yeshua the Messiah is both effective and complete. If we believe in Yeshua, we are cut off from every oppressive force in our lives.

I am surprised that I received no comments to the contrary. I know how difficult life can be. I am well aware how even believers continue to struggle with all sorts of issues both physical and spiritual. As I mentioned last time, I hope to deal with this in the weeks ahead, but what I want to make clear here is that this freedom is real. Just as Israel was freed from Pharaoh's grip, so we too, can be freed from whatever our oppression is and live according to how we were really meant to.

When we believe in Yeshua, we are freed from condemnation. His sacrifice for us is the full and absolute price required to set us free. There is nothing we can do to secure our freedom, and there is nothing more to add to what he has done for us.

While in this life we may continue to have struggles, if we have a right relationship with God through Yeshua, we have a wonderful eternal destiny to look forward to a destiny that can never be taken away.

Once we come to God through Yeshua we have the assurance of his love and presence forever. No matter how difficult life gets, there is nothing that can ever separate us from God and his love.

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