The Price of Freedom
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind.[and] considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength."1
In Congress on July 4, 1776, fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence declaring the then Thirteen Colonies (now states) in North America independent from Great Britain.
Central to the Declaration of Independence are the following words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
While there are conflicting stories2 as to what happened to all of the fifty-six original signers, we can be certain that when they signed this declaration, they knew full well that they were putting their lives at risk. Furthermore, many men gave their lives in the War of Independence to gain independence from the then oppressive rule of Great Britain.
As history has clearly shown, there has always been a high price to pay for freedom, for there never seems to be a lack of despots who want to subjugate a people to their total control for their own evil and/or self-centered purposes.
Those of us who live in free lands have incredible blessings for which to be thankful. And let us be thankful today not only for these blessings, but also for all those who have given their lives to make us free, and for all those today who are risking their lives to keep us free.
As Christians, let us never forget that while freedom is a God-given right (which the Declaration of Independence affirmed), freedom has never come without a price—and will never be maintained without the high price of eternal vigilance. As Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) in restating the words of John Philpot Curran, said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
As powerful as the military might of the U.S. armed forces is, let us remember that, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength."3 And that "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."4 And that, when we turn from God and fail to follow His ways, we divorce ourselves, not only from God's protection, but also from the "unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the wonderful privilege and unfathomable blessings You have given to those of us who live in free countries. Today we pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering under the tyranny and persecution of evil men. And grant that we in free countries will be reminded that 'Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.' Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Psalm 33:12-13, 16 (NIV).
2. See http://www.ctssar.org/articles/price_paid.htm
3. Psalm 33:12-13,16 (NIV).
4. Proverbs 14:34 (NIV).