From Failure to Freedom!
proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto
all the inhabitants thereof… Leviticus 25:10b [KJV]
The Liberty Bell is a symbol to many United States
citizens of our desire for freedom. The source of
this bell’s casting came as a directive by the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania around November 1751. The Speaker of the Assembly ordered Isaac Norris, Thomas Leech, and Edward Warner to procure a bell approximately 2,000 lbs from England. He requested that a Bible verse be placed on the bell. The above text is the inscription upon this bell.
The bell was cast to commemorate the charter for this province by William Penn; however, the bell broke upon being tested. Two local workmen, John Pass and John Stow, were commissioned to recast the bell. Pass and Stow recast the bell but modified the design by adding copper to the metal. Their first recast was unsuccessful. When they did the second recast, they restored the correct balance of metal. The second recast was successful, and this bell currently hangs in Independence Hall.
I believe there is a spiritual lesson learned in this story. We learn that failure does not have to be permanent. We often find ourselves in bondage to our past and present failures. It is imperative that we grasp the truth of grace. To the natural eye, this bell was a work of craftsmanship. The perceived flaw was in the original casting. The recasting was an attempt to modify on the part of Pass and Stow. To their amazement, the bell was worse with the addition of copper. The second recast was to return to the original formula. Success was achieved.
Failure does not have to be permanent. Often in our failure, we find new direction and determination. Those who cease striving, cease thriving. We all fail at times. The difference is how we handle failure. Do we imprison ourselves in our failure, or do we rather choose to turn to our Redeemer for forgiveness and renewed empowerment? Paul writes in Philippians 4 concerning his transient conditions of life. As with us all, we go through times that are good and times that challenge. Paul’s response was to state: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 [KJV] This is a powerful declaration -- let’s apply it to our lives! True freedom comes through confronting failures and refusing to surrender to defeat.
God’s grace is abundant and available to each of us -- a Divine grace that forgives sin and restores us. It brings us back into a right relationship with our Savior. Failure is addressed by the powerful words of the prophet Micah -- words that acknowledge failure while refusing to quit.
7Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. 8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
Micah 7:7-9 [KJV]
This bell was rung when the Declaration of Independence was read and was moved from Philadelphia to Allentown, PA when the British occupied Philadelphia. It was later restored to its original place at the Assembly Hall.
One important note is the fact that it was not called the Liberty Bell until named by the Abolitionist Movement to fulfill the words of Leviticus 25:10. This bell became the symbol of this freedom movement. What a powerful declaration to those who desired emancipation. After the Civil War, the bell toured the United States as a symbol for reconciliation and national unity.
The bell is a historical symbol, but there is a symbol that is eternal. It is the CROSS! This is the symbol of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration of privilege as children of God.
"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 [NASB]
Love, Grace, and Blessings
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