Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever, who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The Lord shall reign forever—Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 146)
Freedom Is Of God
The desire for freedom has always been the pursuit of men. Nations subject their citizens to the despot’s whims and oppression that God never intended for the world. The Lord created all men with the innate desire to have freedom. The blessing of self-choice is what enslaves men to the bondage of sin. Freedom is not just the idea of being free, but true freedom sets the heart free from the bondage of oppression. A dictator may tell his people they are free when they submit to his rule, but when that freedom is based on carnal pride and arrogance of those in power, freedom becomes suppression. There is nothing free about the evil of men forcing their wills on unwilling people.
True freedom is when the individual’s potential is exercised for his good. There is no greater freedom than what is found in the grace of God. The Lord gives freedom to all oppressed by sin’s bondage. Praise must be given to the Lord because His freedom gives all men the full release of what oppresses them. Putting trust in the wisdom of men is foolish. Every generation believes they have the better answer. History is filled with the ruins of man’s failures as he seeks to be his own God seeking his own way. Humanity is incapable of having sufficient wisdom to make the right decisions. Every loss of the human spirit has come when trust is put in men.
Trusting in God bridges time, culture, and wisdom throughout the ages. God made the heavens and earth and, through His great power, ordained such wisdom to guide the thoughts of men. Truth can only come from God. Justice is established by divine wisdom. The blessings of life are best served from the table of God’s abundance. Freedom is found in the word of God. Men seek to be free and can only find true freedom when they submit to the will of God. When men accept the will of God, their eyes are opened, and the Lord raises those who are bowed down. God’s love is shown to the righteous. He watches over the strangers and relieves the fatherless and the widow. Real freedom comes from the gracious hand of the Lord. Not all men accept the freedom offered by God. The way of the wicked He turns upside down. Sadly, they reject the freedom given through the blood of God’s Son.
Celebrating freedom is realizing the joy of serving the one true and living God. There is a need to praise the Lord because of His eternal blessings. Life is filled with daily praise of God’s grace and mercies. What does the psalmist proclaim? “I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.” Freedom came through the death of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection. Hope can only be found in the one who made heaven and earth. Thank God for freedom. Its only color is red!