In Middle School we watched the movie of the Civil War in the United States, which was called Glory. It took place during the Civil War, and showed, if I remember correctly the Northern point of view, as opposed to the Southern point of view, which Gone With the Wind seems to portray. When I was watching this movie I was asked to define what the word “glory” actually meant. I had difficulty coming up with an answer. While the definition has many terms in implication in the Jewish root, and basically identifying God’s glory as the glory of the Presence of the Son – I want to take you through a journey as the Holy Spirit compels me and enables me to do so on the aspect of Glory, Freedom, and the Ultimate Battle, and the parallels between the Bible and the Civil War.
In the Bible – particularly in the Old Testament, the Israelites cried about their slavery and God heard them –
23 However, after a long time [nearly forty years] the king of Egypt died; and the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God.
24 And God heard their sighing and groaning and [earnestly] remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. – Exodus 2:23-24
It took them a long time of trials and trusting in God to get to their Promised Land, but yet they still didn’t have freedom.
When the African slaves were taken captive in American History, they cried and sang out and they had great heroes of faith like Harriet Tubman and they sang songs of Moses in the times of their slavery. The Battle of the North and the South was particularly a battle of ideas, the idea that people should be enslaved to make riches for the higher class verses the idea that each individual has a right to be acknowledged to an individual and has the right to Freedom. They fought out this war with a bloody fight and it was the bloodiest fight with Abraham Lincoln leading the way seeking God through this time, and he was President. I had to do a study on Abraham Lincoln, and I heard he suffered from depression, or maybe that was his wife, I don’t remember, but the point being that he was a man who sought God to deliver the African people freedom from slavery in the Declaration of Emancipation.
So that was the ultimate battle and that is one many Christians still face today because Christ has purchased our freedom, but through the limits of this life we are still bound, and we need to be rescued. The beautiful thing is that Christ rescues us over and over and over again, constantly redeeming us and bringing His purpose to pass through our lives even though we may not see it. We still have this battle of ideas of slavery and bondage to the Law, and the Freedom that is inherited by Grace.
God not only brought the Israelites out of bondage of slavery from the Egyptians, but He also brought them out of bondage to the Babylonians, and Assyrians and many times over and over again. They waited several years for total freedom which was going to only come through the Messiah, and when Jesus came, they thought he was going to physically free them from Roman captivity, but instead He freed them from the bondage of the Law. He became a curse so they wouldn’t have to be bound any longer anymore and when Cleopas and his companion came across Him, they were mourning, and He had not revealed Himself to them, and He was actually pretending like He didn’t know what they were thinking. They were expecting some great physical delivery or political delivery and freedom, but they didn’t realize how much power the freedom that they did have.
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
So this glory encapsulates the freedom that He gives. The freedom from the bondage of sin and death is what this freedom offers to mankind. But people can go and take advantage of the freedom, and that’s where the issue comes up. People can get so carried away with freedom, that they begin to live their licentious lives over again. Look what’s happening right now in America. The rights that were once considered valuable are now being trampled upon and the rights that are of no value to a human being are exalted and proclaimed over to the point where the rights of the people that instill values that reduce crime, and violence, are now being minimized. So then freedom has bounds. Bounds were set for protection, but not to bind if that makes sense.
Interestingly enough the word “boundary” comes from the word meaning “mark, or delimit” which brings up a very interesting conversation topic, the there is the Mark of God, and the Mark of the enemy. So how does a believer know which mark is which? When referring to the mark of the enemy, where one cannot buy or sell without the mark, it seems like it is delimiting and putting more and more control. Whereas the Mark of God, freely grants you the right to ask from God whatever you desire, knowing that you have believed in Him, and have received. We must remember that one of the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness and in that gentleness, Jesus is so gentle with you as to not force you into any direction, but as a loving shepherd He guides you by the still waters, but even the sheep have to go into the sheep gate so they don’t get attacked by wolves.
Getting back to the Civil War, which was anything but civil, we come again to the cost of freedom. If you want to check out my previous post on Freedom, check out my blog on Freedom posted July 4, 2011. Freedom means that someone has to die. In the Christian walk, it means that Jesus has died for us. He has set us free, and we are no longer captives. We operate in a different kingdom, which is the Kingdom of Love and in that we find the freedom. We find the Freedom to be able to love to the max, but through our own flaws and imperfections we fail to see what demand this love requires. This love requires pain, emotionally, and sometimes even physically, but in the end it is Christ who frees us from the law of sin and death, and that is where the Ultimate Battle is won – on the Cross. So ask yourselves where in our lives have taken up the Cross?