Weekly Devotional: Freed to Serve

“Let My people go, so that they can serve Me” (Exodus 7:16).

Moses repeatedly uttered this refrain to Pharaoh, insisting the Egyptian ruler release the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham. Many modern translations translate Moses’ command as “Let My people go, so they may worship Me,” but the word actually better translates as “serve.”

Everyone loves a story of freedom. The Exodus is one of the great stories of freedom in human history—an enslaved people miraculously led by God to freedom from their oppressive masters. It was such a potent story that in the “Slave Bible”—a Bible given to African slaves brought to the Americas—the story of the Exodus was removed, being deemed too problematic.

Our love for liberty spills over into our faith and spirituality. We often focus on our “freedom” in Christ, or that Christ has “freed” us. But freed us for what?

The Exodus from Egypt is not only about the slave going free, but about God redeeming a people from slavery to serve Him. Throughout the Bible, the theme of freedom is closely tied to the theme of worshiping God and devoting one’s life to Him. True freedom is found only when we surrender our lives to the will and purposes of our King.

The Bible mentions God’s kingship for the very first time in connection with the deliverance at the sea: “The Lord shall reign forever and ever” (Exodus 15:18). A king is to be served. God established Himself as Israel’s deliverer and its king. The people, then, were freed in order to serve: “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me.”

The problem is that we often don’t want to serve. We want freedom and liberty but on our own terms. The Bible views things differently: God is the King, and we are His servants. He is the one who created and reigns over all existence. We were created to know God and to serve Him.

Jesus spoke far more about servanthood than He did about freedom and liberty. Why? Because He fully understood that we either serve God or something else (Matthew 6:24)—but we have to serve somebody.

God delivered the Israelites to serve Him. And today, He still frees people to serve Him. We have freedom and liberty so that we can know God and live for His purposes. How will you use your freedom?


Father, today I submit my will and my life into Your hands. You are the King; may I follow You today as Your faithful servant. Amen.

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