Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!
Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free
yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird
from the snare of the fowler.
The father is admonishing his son to do everything in his power to stay free, but what does he mean by freedom?
Today freedom is a very loosely defined word that has come to mean many different things. Politicians behave as though freedom means license to do whatever it takes to augment their own power. Business people promote the idea that freedom is all about choosing consumer products, particularly their own. Others push sexual freedom or the freedom to use illegal drugs. And there are those who push the idea that we should be free of all societal constraints, period.
But none of this is consistent with the biblical idea of freedom. Peter says, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil” (1 Peter 2:16). And Jesus, quoting Isaiah, says, “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners . . .” (Luke 4:18), by which he means prisoners to the sinful nature.
The freedom of Christ is the freedom to be free of the burdens of sin that separate us from God. This is the freedom that opens the door to the life God intended us to live.
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts