At many points in history, slaves of oppressive regimes have risen up and cried “enough! I want to be free!”
The rousing anthems from the musical Les Misèrables stir the soul: “Do you hear the people sing, singing the songs of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drum there is a light about to start when tomorrow comes!”
Why has this musical based on a small uprising in the 18th Century continued to inspire audiences for over 25 years? I believe it is because there is something of a cry for freedom that resonates within each and every one of us! A sounding bell which chimes with clarity that injustice must not prevail!
During the freedom marches of the 1960’s, Martin Luther King Jr, made a famous statement, “I have a dream…!” To those who would oppress those less fortunate, they don’t like people to dream! Because dreams become aspirations, sharing those dreams becomes inspiration and sows hope…
Hope is fatal to oppression. Hope doesn’t see its limitations only its own surety!
In the film Amistad, the famous actor Djimon Hounsou plays Cinque, the main protagonist, a slave brought to America from Africa. He revolts against his slavers and states the immortal words “I want free!”
These words and this explosive passion cause his case to be heard ultimately by the highest court in the land, and leads shortly after to the abolition of slavery by Abraham Lincoln himself.
One of my favourite films though, is Braveheart. Many historians will probably tear the film to shreds for its lack of historical accuracy, but it is the rawness and the passion of William Wallace which so inspires me… I am not Scottish, but in watching that film I almost wish I was!
Mel Gibson gives a rousing speech to cheer his men into battle knowing full well that many may not see the sunrise the following day.
“I am William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny! You have come to fight as free men. And free men you are! What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?”
“Two thousand against ten?” – the veteran shouted. “No! We will run – and live!”
“Yes!” Wallace shouted back. “Fight and you may die. Run and you will live at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!”
When he reaches the end of this speech Wallace lets out a roar, a visceral growl of defiance which echoes for an eternity!
In researching this post, I googled the speech and noticed a comment on the threads, it simply said, “this film is banned in Turkmenistan [his country] for precisely this speech!”
If you tell people that they have no choice they learn to accept the burden you put upon them, but if they ever open their eyes to the joy of freedom your tyranny is at an end!
The Syrian refugees flooding into Western Europe as I write, are just such people. Hounded from their homes by a sick terrorist organisation with an agenda of hate, they have risked their lives to travel the treacherous ten miles of open sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Cos and are slowly making their way into Europe.
When they reached Budapest in Hungary they were faced with an impasse. The authorities refused them safe passage through their land without first registering them!
The authorities cancelled all international trains and the one train they did allow to leave stopped after a few miles and attempted to forcibly book the refugees into a refugee camp. But these were a people with a purpose!
After growing tired of waiting they simply set off for Austria and Germany on foot, some barefoot, to walk the hundreds of miles to the border.
Eventually the Hungarian authorities had to bow to the pressure, they laid on buses and transported thousands of refugees safely to the Austrian border. Our news screens were filled with the images of weeping mothers, overjoyed that they would reach their intended destination, Germany.
When they reached there they were greeted with open arms, with flowers and with love!
This was not the case for the Israelites. After a miraculous decision by the Pharaoh to free them, the incredible parting of the Gulf of Aqaba (now known as the Red Sea) and the incessant wandering around the wilderness of Midian (a range of mountains in Eastern Arabia) there finally came a day for them to possess their promised land!
No walled city, no army, no authority could stand in their way. So when after they had obeyed God and walked around the city of Jericho once a day for 6 days, they walked around 7 times on the 7th day. As they completed their 7th circuit they lifted their horns and trumpets and let out an almighty shout!
As they shouted the very walls around the city crumbled and collapsed! 440 years of slavery and exile from their land had come to an end.
Whatever it may be that is holding you back , there is a freedom cry inside your heart that your very bones are waiting to hear! Declare freedom over your life and do not settle for anything less!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 NIV