There are some difficult teachings that are found in the scriptures. I love to teach them, hoping to help some to understand. I am often found teaching Biblical Marriage and the truth of the existence of an Eternal Hell. One teaching I have felt unable to teach is “Slavery!.” I often see atheists screaming that the Bible teaches that God approves of slavery and I have, in the past, tried to help them to see that the slavery God approves of is not what they think of as slavery.
You should have noticed that even with being slippery with my words I did not offend anyone, thats about to not be true. We see many scriptures in the Bible that speak to the matter of slavery within the Israeli community. The truth is that God did not disapprove in most cases. This is so true that God has purchased us with His Son's own blood. Free men are not purchased, okay? Slaves are!
So let's see if I can make this hole I'm digging deeper. Let's look at what Paul recorded for us to learn in Romans 12:1. Paul wants us to walk up to the Alter of Sacrifice and to put our bodies down there for God's good pleasure. We're not just slaves, bought with a price, we're a living sacrifice if we are serving God. That can sound harsh but he assures us that it is our duty.
On my mother's side my Great Grandmother Davis arrived here from Ireland and she and her children were Bond Slaves. They had to work off the debt before they could be free. If you've observed my signature you've noticed that I announce that I, also, am a Bond Slave. My Granny Davis worked her debt off, I never will. I owe the LORD a debt I cannot repay! Since we are using the scriptures to determine our lot in life, the case can be made for the Jewish custom of forgiving a debt after seven years. There is an addendum to that custom, however. If a slave elected to remain in the Master's service he or she could go to the city gate and have their ear pierced with an awl to mark them as their master's slave forever. The LORD has not asked that of me but if He ever does I will, will you?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Tested of God
One of the things that is consistent with God is testing. God gave one commandment to Adam and as long as Adam, not Eve, did not break that one commandment he was safely inside the will of God for His life.
The question then arises, why does God test us? We know from example after example that God knows when we will fail and when we will succeed before hand, so why? Since God knew us before we are born (Jer. 1:5) why? God must test us even though He knows the result before the test because we do not know and yet to build faith we must know, not guess or presume.
Before I went to Vietnam I trained for four years but I was untested. I passed the test of combat but I also witnessed others that had trained much longer than I as they failed the test and endangered the entire outfit as they failed. It is the same way with Christians. Until I stood the test of a real attack with rockets, mortars and enemy soldiers attacking me I had no real idea of what I would do. In like manor, we can read our Bibles for years and know that we must trust God no matter how bad the circumstance but until Satan is allowed, by God, to pull the rug from under our feet we do not know just how we will perform. (Job, all of it)
As we read the scriptures we see everyone in God's service tested. One, often thought of as a children's story is Sampson. God allowed Sampson to go into captivity, have his eyes blinded and to be used as a mule by the enemy. (Jud. 16:21) The removal of Sampson's hair didn't cost him his great strength, God removed that from him and the hair was symbolic of that. But in verses 28-30, when Sampson called upon God, God gave his strength back to him.
When Job was tested the scriptures are very clear that before he could be tested God had to allow Satan access to him. (Job 1:7-12) Just as Job was protected by God, so is the Believer today. An oft made mistake by New Christians is the idea that, “Now I'm a Christian and my troubles are over.” This is not true, what is true is that the tests are easier to complete because we can always go to God for help in completing these tests, that is exactly the point of them, anyway, so that we will know His presence and His power. (Psa. 46:10)
Many people think that God helps those that help themselves but that would make Psalm 46:10 a lie. We need to be careful here, the scriptures also teach that the sluggard is to be disregarded. (Prov. 20:4) If we do not work we do not eat, but when we are presented with the insurmountable problem, the one we see no hope for, then we stand still, call on God and watch. When we see a door mysteriously open for us, then we join God in what He is doing and our problem is solved.
When we depend on God our problems grow to be less vexing.