So to recap our established points, in ascending order of importance: 1) all Americans are negatively biased concerning slavery; 2) slavery had beneficial effects for the poor in Israel; and 3) God uses slavery to describe our covenant relationship to Him. It makes sense to me to deal and apply these points as we live and serve God today.
|A statue still standing today in Zanzibar|
|You know who I'm talking about...|
3) So what's not true about our cultural abhorrence for slavery? While it is morally dangerous (to say the least!) for most people to own other people, there is one Person (or three Persons, if you're a nitpicker like me!) who has every right to do so: God. So not only by His creation of us, but through His mighty work to save us, believers, then and now, are slaves of God. It is one of the gravest errors of our American brand of Christianity to retort to O.T. truth, "but we're a New Testament church!" We are owned by God, bought by Him (I Cor 6:19-20) and we are His property (or "possession"; Tit 2:14, I Pet 2:9). He says "jump!" and it is our highest honor to reply "how high?" There is a direct, one-to-one correlation to Israel's bond with God and ours. Be honest: have you ever thought of God as your Owner? If so, props to you; if you're like me however, you're fighting the implications of it all. But that's exactly how the apostles described themselves, over and over again (Php 1:1, Jam 1:1, Rev 1:1). So to rehash what we said last time: unfettered spiritual independence is simply not an option. Either you belong to God, or what Elijah said of Ahab is true of you: "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD." (1 Ki 21:20). The vast majority of our countrymen, even those who claim to follow Christ, claim also to be free, which is another way to describe the deification of ourselves, the most contemporary of false gods. The only proper, true and useful claim, both for our sanctification and exemplifying the best effects of the gospel, for believers today is to be wholly dedicated to the pleasure of Another, to set our entire being in orbit around His command and revealed will. Only then can our lost neighbors see their own slavery, and desire the freedom of Christ, the freedom to be enslaved to God:
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (Jn 8:36)