Based on the title above, I bet you thought that this week’s blog was going to be all about how and why America’s initial Pilgrims and Puritans sought their independence by seceding from Great Britain (England), which was their Mother country. Well, your assumptions would be partially correct. But what I really want to blog about is how those events of 1620 and 1630 line up with the word of God and the authority he has imparted to his Son, Jesus Christ, to dispense to his people regarding freedom.
On June 7, 1777, select members from the 13 American colonies met at the Continental Congress convened at the Pennsylvania State House to draft a formal statement declaring their independence and freedom from England. Similar words had already been written in Galatians 5:1 giving all of mankind their independence and freedom in Christ Jesus.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
In the 1500s after breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church, due to a royal matrimony dispute, England created a new church denomination called the Church of England. In addition, a royal edict declared that all England had to belong to this new denomination. God’s word in James 4:7-8 provides guidance to all those who seek godly advice in such matters concerning the heart.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded”.
Approximately one hundred years later a group of worshipers in England known as Separatists sought to separate themselves from the Church of England so that they could practice their own religious customs freely. Their leader, William Bradford, was successful in obtaining permission to establish a new colony in Virginia. Therefore, his congregation left England and set sail on the Mayflower in September 1620 for the New World (America). Hopefully, the mindset of those Pilgrims aligned with the word of God which is written in Psalm 33:12.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”
Ten years later in 1630, the Puritans, yet another group of reformers seeking religious freedom, readied themselves to leave England. Basically, they wanted to flee the harsh punishments inflected upon all those who opposed the teachings of the Church of England. (I have no idea if the Puritans’ incentive was based on this holy word written in Galatians 5:13.)
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
The Puritans headed out for the New World under the leadership of John Winthrop, with a charter from the Massachusetts Bay Company. This group of worshippers finally settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is recorded in history that this group did believe that God would protect them if they obeyed his laws and commandments.
Approximately one hundred years later in 1777, the New World (America) had received an influx of new migrants from England, and they had established thirteen colonies along the coastal lands of America. It was now time for the new settlers to officially gain their independence from the Mother country, Great Britain.
On June 7, 1777, the Continental Congress met to formulate a document seceding all colonies (in force at that time and in the future) from England’s ownership and rule. Due to in-house bickering and political disagreements, Congress had to establish a five-man committee to draft a resolution to be agreed upon prior to voting. The resolution was finally passed and ratified on July 2, 1777. Hear what the Bible says about legislated freedoms in 2 Corinthians 3:17 and Romans 8:2.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
In conclusion of this brief American History Lesson, please allow me to draw another quote from the Holy Bible; John 8:36.
“So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
THUS, AS A RESULT OF THESE ACTS CHRONICLED ABOVE, A FEW DEVOTED INDIVIDUALS ESTABLISHED THE 4TH OF JULY WHICH HAS BECOME A NATIONAL HOLIDAY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Below is a prayer in song for the land and inhabitants of America. Skip the commercials and stand and salute the American flag as you prayerfully listen to the words.Just CLICK the name Kate Smith.
I learned something this week. Yes, my eyes were opened to a new perspective on the Bible. I grew up knowing, believing and respecting the teaching that the Bible was the infallible Word of God; but this week, as I read Leviticus, Chapter One in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit showed it to me as a Road Map for court etiquette.
You will recall that I have mentioned in past blog writings, that I am an early riser and often I connect with a semi-large group of believers who gather at 5:45 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. every weekday morning on the telephone for Bible study and prayer time. Our mission, led by an assistant clergy of my church, is to read one chapter from four different books of the bible (three chapters from the O.T. and one chapter from the N.T.).
As the spirit leads, with thanksgiving, any person is allowed to ‘wrap a prayer around’ any verse that reminds them of God’s goodness. Boy oh boy, does this exercise start my day with holy ecstasy, jubilance and solace. The spirit runs high and by the end of the session, our leader closes out our time together by asking for prayer requests which he lifts up to the Lord.
All those who read and study the Bible know that God’s word is new and fresh every morning. His word is also a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway. Since God likes things done in order, he gave the Levitical priests strict instructions on how to hold court at the tent of meeting (the tabernacle).
As I read and meditated over the first chapter of Leviticus, and saw how God wanted Moses to instruct the people as to how they were to bring their offering to the Lord, the Holy Spirit showed me that the same procedure required in the days of old are being lived out today in our court system in the twenty first century.
The first lesson I learned from the scriptures was that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Three classes of society are mentioned in the following verses. And the offering that was required of them had to be killed and its blood was to be shed. The person (sinner) who brought their offering to the priest (a forerunner of Jesus Christ, the High Priest Who was to come) had to lay their hand on the head of their burnt offering.
Lev. 1:3 “If the offering is a burnt offering from the ‘herd’”,….The filthy rich people that owned the larger animals like oxen and cattle with hides.
Lev. 1:10 “If the offering is a burnt offering from the ‘flock’”,….The middle class people that owned smaller animals like sheep and goats, chickens, etc.
Lev. 1:14 “If the offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of ‘birds’”,…The poorer class of people without means and who would have to catch and kill their offering.
NOW, LET’S LOOK AT WHAT OUR COURTS REQUIRE…
All witnesses arraigned in our court system must place their hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The example given in scripture shows that each society class of people owes their survival and good fortune to God (WHO IS TRUTH) and by placing their hand on the head of their prize possession (herd, flock or bird), they are indebted to Him and just as He gives, He can take it away. Don’t forget, the Old Testament requires that the offering must be drained of its blood and completely burn up at the ceremony’s conclusion.
CHRIST JESUS SHED HIS BLOOD FOR US!
Perhaps, if you are familiar with the Book of Leviticus, you might think that I have really taken the meaning of Chapter One to the limit. But that’s alright. I just like to try and relate every word of God’s revelations to my life today and make it relevant. I trust you do the same. So many of my friends love to read and discuss the New Testament but shy away from the Old Testament. For me, the more I understand the Old Testament, the more God reveals himself to me in the New Testament.
See you next week. Please leave me your comment on how you relate to the Old Testament Scriptures.