Essential Truth about God–Freedom

Personal freedom is a right that we cherish as American citizens. We believe that we are given certain rights (originally stated in the founding days of our nation as the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of property), which no man can properly take from us. We also believe at American citizens that these rights come from God directly and are not given by any law of the land, but merely recognized by the law of the land. Furthermore, we recognize that our rights, our freedoms, may be interrupted or vacated by our violation of other’s rights and freedoms. When a person violates another’s right to life, he may very well be forfeiting his own right to life. All civilized societies understand this basic principle of humanity.

Yet in order for these rights to be given to creation, they must be sourced in the Creator. We understand that our rights belong to us, because they have been graciously granted by One who is not bound by the same rules as we are. A person cannot give away something that he does not possess. From an earthly perspective, we have these freedoms in America because they were bought with the blood of our national fathers and mothers. They possessed those rights through conflict and victory. Yet when we back up and get the bigger picture, we realize that there has never been a person from ordinary generation who has possessed true freedom inherently. Full and complete freedom with no anxiety or fear that one might lose their freedoms is not possible to those born into a world as “a creation.” We are always in danger of losing our political and social freedom in this world in which we live. Furthermore, we are always in danger of losing our “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And there is nothing we can do to guarantee those rights. For example, people do some amazing and extensive things to try to prolong the right to life, but no matter what men do, we all will one day lose that freedom of life.

Yet, we as Bible-believers understand that God is not bound by the same rules as we are. In order for his title as God to make sense, he must be like no other-we saw this in the last article about God’s holiness. God is not only distinct as the Holy One, he is unequivocally free as the self-existent One. It would difficult to say which passage of Scripture declares this, for the absolute freedom of God is interwoven throughout the entirety of the Bible, through both testaments. One passage of Scripture calls our attention to God’s freedom particularly, although many teach God’s freedom.

In Exodus 3, Moses, chosen by God to deliver the Israelites, encounters God’s holiness in a bush that burns and will not be consumed. It is at this time that Elohim introduces himself to Moses by his covenant name, Jehovah, translated LORD in our English translations. In verse 13, Moses is concerned that the Israelites will not listen to him, especially telling them that a bush sent him to them. God responds by saying that Moses should tell them that “I Am that I Am” sent Moses to them. The Hebrew being verb, “I am” is the same word as what we call Jehovah. This is significant because God was fulfilling to Moses an aspect of his covenant he made with Abraham centuries earlier. In giving his covenant name, God is in essence saying, “I am the self-existent, eternally present One who is free to command as I will.” I simply am “I AM.” “I am not bound to my creation, I am not bound to Abraham or to Israel, or to Moses. I am bound only to my own self, my own character, my own perfection. So I will fulfill my covenant with my people and deliver them from bondage because I can and I will. You tell them Moses, who I am… tell them “I Am!” God obligated himself not to a man or nation but to his own being, and thus he would fulfill his promise, because he chooses to be a God who fulfills his word. He is not capricious, he changes not, but he also is not bound by anyone or anything—He is Free—he is self-existent!

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