John 8:32 (NIV)
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
September 5, 1755 3 P.M. would remain etched in the minds of hundreds of thousands for centuries. The Acadians, a peaceful group of people of French origin living in the New World, refused to take sides as the British and the French fought for dominionship over what we now call Nova Scotia, Canada.
Once the British claimed victory, the fact that the Acadians had remained neutral was a thorn in their sides, and on September 5, 1755 Great Britain's resolutions towards the Acadians came to fruition. 418 men and boys aged ten years or older were ordered to meet at the parish church, Saint-Charles-des-Mines. There it was declared that all Acadians would be deported.
Forced to leave their homes behind, Acadian families were split up, placed on different ships, and taken to different destinations. Husbands were separated from their wives and children from their parents, and in order to completely discourage the people from ever returning to their homeland, their homes, barns, mills and anything else of value were burned to the ground.
The Acadian deportation of Atlantic Canada took the British 9 years. These unfortunately people, whose only crime was that of remaining neutral throughout a war, were sent to away places like American colonies, Europe, West Indies and even the Falkland islands, and there, they were also received with hostility.
Having no idea where the rest of their families had been deported to, it was impossible for most Acadians to ever locate their spouses and children. They lost absolutely lost everything, even their dignity.
Acadians never expected such a tragedy. Especially since British Governor, Philipps, gave a verbal promise to them in 1729 that they could remain neutral in future conflicts between France and Great Britain. In fact, it was this verbal promise that led many Acadians to pledge an oath of allegiance to Great Britain. Unfortunately however, the written pledge sent to England did not include Philipps' promise, and as a result, it was never honored.
This reminds us of how the evil one works on our planet. He promises us the moon, but instead delivers us an existence of slavery to addictions and drudgery. All he wants from us is our worship and by following his insinuations ("Try it once, it won't hurt you!"), we find ourselves in hopeless situations, with seemingly no way of return.
"'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'" (Matt 4:9 NIV)
The bowing down happens more often than not, but the promises from the evil one are never delivered. Too late we realize that the evil one is also the "father of lies" (See John 8:44 NIV) and according to him, promises are meant to be broken.
Don't expect a check for a million dollars from him, nor a life of utter joy and fulfillment. All he wants is our worship and when we fall prey to his insinuations, we give it to him. Sadly, most of us still tend to believe him, even over the trustworthy words of Jesus. Unlike the Acadians, deliverance IS within our grasp. We just don't realize it. If we only would trust the One who willingly died on a cross on our behalf, we could be freed.
Unlike the evil one, our Maker and Savior is faithful. He always keeps His promises "The Lord is faithful to all his promises." (Ps 145:13 NIV), and He also only promotes truth. "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24 NIV). He can set you free!
The Acadians had no choice but to experience a land of no return, but we have the choice. We can avoid the land of deportation altogether, and even if we make bad choices we can return to our "homeland" in Jesus. It all depends on who we choose to trust!
Dear Lord, thank You that we can be free with You. We pray that You will bring someone into our path today that we can share that freedom with. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.