Summary: What does the Bible say about "slavery?" Can one man own another man? Statement: God does not own all of you until he owns your heart! Does he?
Title: "Slavery, Anyone?"
Does the Bible have anything to say about slavery?
The other evening, my wife and I went to see the excellent film, "The Great Debaters." It is an based on a true story of a black college in Texas in 1935 that went up for the National Champions of the while college of Harvard University. The film brings up the subject of slavery and social injustice.
I have also been reading my Bible through again this year. We have been traveling through the pages of the Exodus. God gives to the nation of Israel special instructions regarding slavery.
With these thoughts in mind, God laid upon my heart this message. I trust that it will challenge your heart as it did mine.
Thought number one:
A man is enslaved because of sin.
(Rom 6:16 KJV) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
I do not believe that God every intended that slavery be a part of his perfect creation. But, because sin entered into the world, provisions had to be made within a society that dealt with sin and those who had fallen into bondage as a result of sin. When the children of Israel were to come into the Promised Land, they were to utterly destroy most of the inhabitance of the land. The Canaanites had become so wicked in their sins against God, that God gave orders to have them destroyed or enslaved.
Every one is a slave to something. Our text in Romans 6 indicates that you are either a servant to sin, or you are a servant to righteousness. The challenge of this message is that you choose to become a servant of righteousness!
Thought number two:
Can a man own another man?
(Exo 21:20 KJV) And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
(Exo 21:21 KJV) Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
According to our text, a person can hold a legal document that says that his slaves are his "money." That means, that on paper, it is possible for one man to own another person.
However, let me share with you this powerful thought, "You cannot completely own someone unless you own their heart!"
Thought number three:
God hears the cries of the oppressed.
(Exo 3:9 KJV) Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
If a master becomes abusive in their treatment of their slaves, God will deal harshly against them. Study the history of the Jews. Note how God dealt with Pharaoh and the Egyptians because of their mistreatment of his chosen nation, the Jews.
Thought number four:
In Heaven there will be no more slavery.
(Mat 17:25 KJV) He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
(Mat 17:26 KJV) Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.