Monday, October 08, 2007

Freedom In Christ: Bondage (1/4)

Bondage, the word draws up so many visual pictures to us. We see prisoners sitting in tiny cells, young girls in a far eastern sweatshop, slaves harvesting a cotton field in the 19th century American South, an American teen with a razor and another cut across her forearm, a businessman in a red light district. It's a gambling problem, a pornography addiction, or alcoholism. Not one of us has to look farther than a mirror to experience a person struggling personally with bondage. Bondage is as common the human condition as the need for water and air.

Bondage has been a part of the fallen nature from it's very inception. From the fear of God's arrival after the eating of the forbidden fruit: through the loneliness of the blame game in answering God's inquires: to the ultimate death that would occur once banished from the perfection of Eden. Once sin entered the reality of mankind, the bondage it wrought would ever plague the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve.

Bondage is as ever present in man's story as God's own presence. The Bible illustrates this as Able in bondage to pride kills his brother. This history God left to us continues with examples of bondage played out over and over in Noah, in Abraham, in Issac, and even in Joseph. Once man's Genesis story has ended the song of bondage replayed like broken record.

Act one in the book of Exodus is the story of God's people crying out from the weight of their bondage. Enslaved by the Egyptians for generations, their sons brutally murdered at birth, their people living as aliens, these Hebrews, Abraham's sons, called out to their God for freedom from this bondage.

God heard their cries, and he raised up a messenger to convey only one message, “God's people will be FREE!” That promise is as real today as it was in that African desert nearly 4000 years ago. God's story parallels our own, for in each and every tragedy of each and every man God has been faithful to his one message, “God's people will be FREE!”

The question is will you accept that freedom, and will you convey that message to those suffering the oppression of bondage around you?

This is part 1 of a 4 part series I wrote for the staff of the Columbus Day retreat this past weekend at Rockford Christian Camp.

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