Weekly Thought: Encouragement from Every Book Genesis: Plans, Promises, and Freedom
Note: The idea is to provide a brief weekly encouragement, and each week I’ll be trying to pull an encouraging and relevant thought from a different book of the Bible. This week we start with Genesis, next week will be Exodus, and so on.
It’s the season for talk of plans, promises, and freedoms. Every four years, our nation is inundated with constant chatter and endless commentary about plans of various candidates, promises core to their campaigns, and freedoms that those candidates are vowing to protect. And very soon, many in our nation will plan to exercise that great freedom that we have to vote. That freedom, that privilege, that right is central to our nation’s identity.
And every four years, there are countless questions about the plans and promises of the candidates. Are they trustworthy? Will they keep their promises? Will my freedoms be protected? Seemingly every election cycle, there is a grave concern from people of both sides that if their candidate of choice isn’t elected, then our freedoms will be in peril, the whole system will collapse, and our future will be uncertain.
So plans, promises, and freedoms are truly important to us in the context of our nation, and they should be. Yet, I am thankful that Christians have their true freedom, the freedom above all others, secured by the plans and promises of a faithful God who is uniquely trustworthy. God’s people do not have to be beholden to the cycle of despair or elation that comes each election at the failure or success of one’s preferred candidate.
We may be rightfully concerned by the choice of our nation, or we may be genuinely thankful that a certain person was elected (and we may even work for the election of a particular candidate in a God-honoring fashion), but our joy and our confidence in a bright and free future must never waver. It must never fluctuate by the rise and fall of earthly kings or the political
affairs of the day. All the way back in Genesis 3:15, God made a rock-solid promise that secured the liberty of all who follow Christ. God, speaking to the serpent, said:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
From the very beginning, God had a plan and made a promise to deliver humanity from the power of the snake. Jesus Christ fulfilled that promise and destroyed the power of death and the slavery of sin for all who trust in him. His heel was bruised in his death on the cross, but he dealt a fatal blow to Satan through his sacrifice and resurrection. Because of that, we can be liberated from the clutches of the serpent, free to live a life of joy in God. And even more than that, this is not a plan or promise for one nation or people. Genesis also shows that God’s plan all along was to bless all the nations of the earth through his Son. All the way back in Genesis 12:3, God promises Abraham that through his family, “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So for those of us who are Christians, if we are tempted to hopelessness or despair by the results of the upcoming election or really any other earthly circumstance, be it pandemic or whatever else, know that we fit into a beautiful plan that stretches back thousands of years and reaches forward into eternity. We are participants in a promise that is bigger than one nation in one period of history. In Christ, we are free.
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:16-17).