They had been taken captive from the land they had known all of their lives. The opposing army had been able to defeat them and take their holy city. As they were being led away they would become slaves for the occupants of their new land. It was a sad time for the Jewish nation.
But God had made a promise. After seventy years He would bring a remnant of the people back home. They had lived with this promise for seventy years. During the first year of the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia, a decree was made for the captives to return to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22,23).
Can you imagine the emotions the people must have had? Home? Can we go home? Yes! And so a remnant of the people were free to return to their homeland. I’m certain they were excited, anxious, happy and any other emotion you can think of.
But one word described them better than any other. Free. They now had freedom. And this is the word that many nations aspire to today. They want to be free—to choose their mates, their leaders, their religion and many other things.
This week the grand land we live in—America—will celebrate our 233 year of freedom. Freedom never comes cheap. The men who led our country into freedom nearly lost everything they had—and some of them did. Some lost their homes, others their families, and most died in financial ruin so that we could have the freedom we enjoy today.
The price for our freedom from sin was also at a great cost. Jesus died nailed to a cross to secure the freedom we have today. (John 18)
This week lets be thankful for a God who frees and a land that is free as we try to live out God’s principles. Solomon said, “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)