Lady Liberty

America: The Big Picture

Neil Girrard
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Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Gen. 3:6-7 π Psa. 104:19 π Psa. 136:9 π Isa. 11:2-4 π Mt. 12:8 π Mk. 5:14 π Jn. 8:12 π Jn. 11:9 π Jn. 14:6 π 2 Cor. 3:17 π 2 Cor. 5:21 π Gal. 5:13 π Rev. 1:4 π Rev. 12:1; 2nd; 3rd; 4th π Rev. 12:5; 2nd π Rev. 12:5-6 π Rev. 12:13-17 π Rev. 12:14 π Rev. 12:17; 2nd; 3rd Rev. 13:1 π Rev. 13:11 π Rev. 14:4 Find abc Rev. 12:17

Perhaps the best illustration of how liberty could work was demonstrated by the relationship of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Indeed, their lives are intricately involved with America as both of them participated deeply in the founding of the country and they both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the nation’s official celebration of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence, exactly 50 years after the nation’s birthday. God wanted to place an asterisk, as it were, on their lives if we will but see it.

To see the depth to which liberty can go, we must recognize that Adams was a Federalist and Jefferson was a Democrat-Republican and bitter political feuds developed around this split. Still even more deeply, Adams was a fervent Christian, deeply committed to Christ and the Bible. Jefferson, on the other hand was more a son of the Enlightenment (which denied and opposed God for the most part) though he may have been something of a Deist as, at one point, he went so far as to attempt an analysis of the New Testament that virtually removed Jesus and the miraculous! The two parted ways for a time but were reunited in friendship in 1812 with the aid of Benjamin Rush, a fellow patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and they lived the rest of their days as friends in spite of their very different political, philosophical and religious beliefs. We could learn something from these two men.

But let us turn our attention back to liberty, especially how she is often depicted as “Lady Liberty.” The most famous of these is the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, New York. There are several phrases associated with the Statue of Liberty, but the most recognizable is “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This quote comes from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus. She wrote the poem for an auction to raise the money needed to build the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now sits. Similar to Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, at first the poem went virtually unnoticed and was forgotten until the early 1900s and after Lazarus’ death, a friend began a campaign to memorialize Lazarus and her New Colossus sonnet. The campaign succeeded and the poem is now memorialized on a plaque inside the pedestal of the statue. Here is her poem:

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It is in the picture of Liberty as a lady who embraces all those who seek her wisdom and shelter, especially as we recall that so many fled from religious persecution in Europe and sought liberty in America, that we can perhaps look and find Liberty’s place in prophesy.

As we approach this picture in the Scriptures, please keep in mind this view is advanced as simply one more theory about the book of Revelation. You will have to, before God, decide for yourself if it has any application to your life.

Clothed With the Sun

In the Revelation we find an interesting picture drawn for us. John wrote,

“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.” ( Rev. 12:1; top )

When one turns to commentaries and such to find out what people think of this woman, we find that historically nearly all have concluded that she is either Israel or the Bride of Christ. But these do not line up with what is said of her. The Child of this woman is Christ ( Rev. 12:5 ) but she is also said to have other “offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ( Rev. 12:17; top ) The first description rules out the Bride of Christ because the Bride cannot be the Mother of the Christ and the second description rules out Israel because the followers of Judaism do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. So we can immediately rule out the traditional interpretations of this prophecy.

If this usual interpretation is incorrect – and obviously it is incorrect – then who is this woman? I would like to suggest that we could call her Liberty. Consider:

Now we come to a dilemma. Let us compare two parts of the description of this woman:

“And she bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” ( Rev. 12:5-6 )

“Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ( Rev. 12:13-17; top )

How you will interpret this prophecy depends on

  1. when you believe the devil was or will be “cast to the earth” and when you believe the three and a half years spoken of was or will be;

  2. what you believe “the earth” and “the sea” to represent;

  3. where you believe “the wilderness” to be.

Here is precisely the trap too many prophecy prognosticators fall into. They don’t know so they guess. But here we have three powerfully basic questions – when, what and where – and I personally cannot say I have received inspiration or revelation about these three questions. I can only say that I believe the Lord opened up the identity of the woman as an aspect of God that we might call Lady Liberty. “She” is the inspiring spirit behind mankind’s ongoing urge for liberty and freedom.

We are left with another question – is the eagle wings a portion of America? In the time in view, have we endured a separation of the dragon away from the lamb (a civil war?) and the eagle wings is the portion that allows the woman to flee to “the wilderness” for three and a half years? Is the current worldwide push toward anti-corruption transparency and populist self-determination in more nationalistic governments going to produce a condition wherein liberty is preserved and protected for a short time, the same time frame in which the Jews are allowed to practice their sacrifices to Yahweh? Or is there some other interpretation not yet glimpsed?

Whatever interpretation ultimately proves to be accurate, we must recognize that the rescue is only temporary (three and a half years) and even while this woman is preserved in the wilderness ( Rev. 12:14 ), the devil still wages his war on the followers of Christ ( Rev. 12:17 ) and the two beasts still rise from the sea and the earth. ( Rev. 13:1 , 11 ) We cannot suppose that God is interested in preserving some deceptive cultural notion of “Christianity” at the expense of the true way of following Christ and God which is Christ Himself. ( Jn. 14:6 , Rev. 14:4; top )

So where does it leave us by not being able to fully parse out this prophecy? Right where we need to be. On the horns of a dilemma of personal choice. If liberty and personal responsibility is the call upon every follower of Christ, will we choose to use our liberty to pursue truth and righteousness? Or will we use this liberty to pursue the lusts of our flesh? Will we join the dragon and use weapons of deception to wield power over others, to toy with their minds and lives because our standards are so superior to theirs?

Choose you this day whom you will serve. Christ or Satan. There is no other choice.

Let he who has ears hear.


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