December 31 – 1621= Bethlen Gabor renounces royal title in exchange for liberty for Protestants
Revelation 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Bethlen Gabor, also known as Gabriel Bethlen, was a prince of Transylvania (a section of Hungry). He lived under the rule of the Hapsburgs, who were Roman Catholic, but Bethlen himself was Reformed and part of the Hungarian Reformed church. The Hapsburg Emperor of Germany had violated religious freedom, forced Catholicism on many, and given the Jesuits free reign. So in 1619 when he called for the Hungarians to raise troops help put down the Reformed Elector of the Palatinate so that the Reformed church would not spread in Bohemia, the Reformed of Hungry rose up under the leadership of Bethlen to fight for religious freedom and against the Hapsburgs. This was at the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War. Bethlen was elected by the people of Hungry (including Transylvania) as their new king. And Bethlen defeated the Hapsburgs, although he was not able to save the Elector of the Palatinate, who was chased from Bohemia. Now the Hapsburgs could focus on Hungry and subduing Behtlen. It appeared his people would be ravaged by war. Instead, Bethlen and the Hapsburgs negotiated. Bethlen willing laid down the crown of Hungary, saving his people from a war, in exchange for complete and total religious liberty in Hungary. And under Bethlen’s watch, not only were the Reformed given freedom, but the Catholics, the Lutherans, and even the Anabaptists were allowed to worship as they pleased. He would later have to take up arms again to defend this precious liberty, but his devotion to it helped give thousands of people freedom of religion and worship that we often take for granted today. His selfless act of laying down his crown for the glory of the church and the safety of people speaks volumes of the quality of Bethlen Gabor.
Category: history devotional