One day the whole world will experience freedom. But there's a price to pay
Bill Faith: As one passes through Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. or one of the other veterans cemeteries and views the thousands upon thousands of graves of those who served in the military, the question comes to mind as to how many people had to give their life for the freedom which we enjoy. It seems in this life that freedom comes with a price and that is such a shame.
Upon further examination we find that in the United States our forefathers fought Indian wars, the Spanish American War, England and even themselves during the Civil War. More recently veterans fought two world wars not to mention Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. The price for freedom seems quite high.
Power To Deliver
As we look into the scriptures we read where God said, "I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place ...l have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life" (Isaiah 43:3-4). When God redeemed Israel from Egypt there was quite a price to be paid. All the firstborn of both man and beast from every family that did not have the blood of a lamb or goat over their doorway died. The number of dead probably was in the thousands. Also, besides the firstborn of Egypt, God destroyed all the horsemen and army that pursued Israel into the Red Sea (Exodus 14:28).
There is yet a time in the future when God will again release His mighty power to save His people. "And it will come to pass at that time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," says the Lord God, "that My fury will show in My face ...l will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains ...Every man's sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone...lt will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. Indeed all the people of the land will be burying them ...They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. The search party will pass through the land; and whenever anyone sees a man's bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog" (Ezekiel 38:18, 21-22; 39:11-15).
What a price for freedom!
A Learning Experience
At times people wonder why the earth was created in such a way that we must pay such a high price for freedom. But the Bible reveals that the earth was created in a way so that God could test man. God allows both the wheat and the tares to grow together until the harvest.
Yet we certainly know that God loves us because He sent His only Son to this earth to die for us. And speaking of the price for freedom, we need only to look at all that Christ had to suffer to understand that freedom carries a price tag. Yet in truth, we must ask, "Is it that freedom carries a price tag, or is it that sin has consequences?"
It would be a wonderful world if everyone could enjoy complete freedom without fear of war or harm.
Good news - that world is coming!
It is called the Kingdom of God. In Isaiah 2:2-4 we read:
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say. 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
When we look ahead to the Kingdom of God we can see that there is not much comparison between now and what it will be like then. Micah adds: "Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken" (Micah 4:4).
In this world, it does seem that freedom carries a hefty price tag and we know that sin certainly has its consequences. The two go hand in hand. But as we look ahead into the future and see what God has in store for those who love Him we can understand why the apostle Paul wrote, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 4 Issue 6, Novmber/December 2000. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.
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