Daily Devotional

For May 25, 2015 ← Return

The Great Emancipator

Average reading time is about 1 and a half minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  While attempting to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, which legally freed all the slaves living in the southern states of America, Abraham Lincoln’s hand shook so much that he had to put his pen down before adding his signature.

After discussing the idea of the Emancipation Proclamation for many months with his cabinet, on January 1, 1863, at 11:00 AM, an initial draft of this monumental document was presented to Lincoln. While reading it over, however, Lincoln noticed a technical error that needed correcting, so he sent it back to the State Department.

In the meantime, since it was New Year’s Day and the White House was open to the general public back them, Lincoln spent the next three hours shaking peoples’ hands. Finally, after the crowds left, the corrected version of the proclamation was presented to him at 2:00 PM. It was then, after picking up the pen to sign it into law, that his hand began to shake.

You see, it wasn’t shaking because he was nervous; it was shaking because his arm had become so stiff and numb from shaking hands for three hours. So he put the pen down and gained his composure, saying, “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper. … If my hand trembles when I sign the Proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter will say, ‘He hesitated.’”

Abraham Lincoln, who has often been called the “Great Emancipator,” is a reflection of the human race’s “Great Emancipator,” Jesus Christ, who did not hesitate when called upon to liberate and redeem the human race—though His hands, as they were nailed to Calvary’s tree, also shook. Thus, Solomon declares of Christ, “For He will deliver the needy when He cries … and will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence” (Psalms 72:12–14).

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
- Zechariah 13:6

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