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Thursday, December 12, 2013


Freewill - "The power asserted of moral beings of choosing within limitations or with respect to some matters without restraint of physical or divine necessity or causal law" (Webster Dictionary).   According to Webster's there may be some limits to freewill and there may be cases where there is no restraint.

I have been in church for over 45 years and have heard the term freewill so many times that I have lost count.  In a religious context the term is being used in relation to man and God.  Does man truly possess absolute freedom of choice or perhaps there are some limits to his choices?

A few observations of my freewill not working as of late.  First, the lake where I live is 8 feet low and it is a growing concern for local residence.  I went to the lake and stood on the shore and freely decided that the lake should be full.  Not surprisingly the lake is still 8 feet low.  Second, I am a avid cyclist and runner and in recent months my right knee has been causing me some problems.  Thus, the other night I freely and definitively made the freewill choice for my knee to be fully well.  However, my knee still hurts today.  Third, I have tried my freewill in the physical world, the physical body, and now I have tried it in a family matter.  My daughter lives in Alaska and recently gave birth to our first grandson.  They live just a bit over 4,000 miles away from us.  I made the freewill decision to have them move to Texas.  They are still in Alaska.  My freewill does not seem to be working out the way I wish it would. Fourth, perhaps I should try out my freewill in spiritual matters.  The thing that causes me the greatest difficulty in this life is sin.  If I could quit sinning surely my life would be full of abundance.  I made a resolute and firm freewill decision to stop sinning.  I decided that I would never sin again.  Well?  It did not work.

I was reading in Exodus this morning and started pondering the freewill of Pharaoh.  Pharaoh made a lot of decisions, but where his decisions contradicted God's decisions it was God who always got his way and Pharaoh who lost.  I list but one example.  In Exodus 1:10 Pharaoh says pen-yirbe, which means, "lest they multiply".  Pharaoh makes a decision to keep the Hebrew people from multiplying and enacts a direct order to murder all male babies.  In Exodus 1:12 God says, ken-yirbe, which means, "the more they shall multiply".  Two decisions have been made by two opposing parties.  They cannot both have what they choose.  In Exodus 1:20 the text says, "And the people multiplied and grew very strong".

God is the only possessor of absolute freedom and whatever He chooses He receives.  To quote the Psalmist, "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases" (Psa. 115:3).  Rather than clinging to and yearning for a supposed freewill it would be far better to humbly fall before the God of heaven and say, "Thy will be done".  

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