Freedom is the foundation on which our way of life was built. It’s the key to how we live. We have the freedom of expression & religion. We can move about freely, live where we want and expect to be treated fairly and equally (no prejudice). Now this doesn’t always happen, since there are those who wish to limit our freedom or take it completely away. Our freedom comes with a cost. A cost to achieve it and to maintain it.
The Bible also talks about freedom, but let’s not confuse it with the freedoms we enjoy in American culture. The freedom of Scripture transcends culture, working in a free county as well as an oppressive dictatorship. There are “prisoners” living in million dollar mansions and free people residing in 6′ x 8′ cells. Let’s take a look at this true and lasting freedom.
After launching Psalm 40 with praise to God, David gets personal about his relationship with the Lord. He has sought the Lord and the Lord has answered him. In the answers and actions of God David experiences freedom from fear, despair, destruction, discouragement and a broken heart. David finds that the key to this freedom was to understand that the freedom didn’t give him a life free of hardship, rather he was free in the midst of the trouble. He knew that, that which is important – our heart, spirit, soul – can’t be destroyed when we are in God.
How did David learn this truth and how can we learn this today? Well, he gives us an invitation to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” David experienced the goodness of God and he encourages us to do the same. To become intimate in fellowship with the Almighty we must drink in his mercy and grace we must feast on his forgiveness and guidance. We must observe up close and personal what his holiness looks like. This is more than knowing God is good. This is living in his goodness through the ups and downs of life.
In turn the freedom from these things encourages us toward freedom to…to what? David says that we are free to taste and see the goodness of God as we’ve already mentioned but he also says we are free to live like God (think Jesus). He says we shouldn’t speak evil or be deceptive, that we should turn from evil, do what is right and always strive for peace.
In all this we get to experience the greatest freedom. Freedom that comes with a cost, the price of which was paid for by the good God who loves us so much that he asked his son to make that payment. This redemption is salvation from utter despair and destruction. The only requirement – take up shelter in the protection of the Lord. Now that looks, feels and tastes great.