Sunday, May 31, 2009

Slavery = Freedom


VS.


In these verses:
Crimson - represents luxury, wealth, easy-living
Yoke - represents servitude, self-denial, hard work

When it is put that way, I'd rather have a yoke in my youth than to be established in crimson. This is a good argument for why parents should not hand everything to their kids on a silver platter; why a life of simplicity, hard work, and godly learning will go much farther than any other parenting method. Of course, I've only been on the receiving end of parenting so I'm no expert.
Hebrews 12:5-11

*I've been learning a lot about the life of Moses in preparation for camp and I just found some verses that correlate closely with the thought of having a yoke in ones youth (See Deuteronomy 8:2-5.) It gives the reason for the 40 years of wandering. It was to be a discipline for the rising generation, a preparation to their entrance into the Promised Land.

On the same topic, but a slightly different vane:
There are two types of yokes. We all bear one or the other; bearing neither is not an option. The first type is satan's yoke. It is the yoke of slavery to our sins and the subsequent guilt we bear. This is the yoke that God seeks to free us from. (See Leviticus 26:13, Jeremiah 30:8,9, Lamentations 1:14) Then there is Christ's yoke. This is the yoke of slavery to Him. (See Matthew 11:29,30)

Who usually carries a yoke? Oxen, yes. And slaves. God calls us to be slaves. Sounds harsh, doesn't it? Many translations use the word servant because it sounds less discordant and more tactful. Readers today associate the word slave with 19th century slavery where brutal treatment and loss of life was commonplace. But when striving to understand the Bible, we must define terms using only the Bible and not our own conceptions of its terminology. In Biblical times, slaves were treated very humanely. They were given a Sabbath's rest and also given the major festivals and feast-days off (by the way, there were a TON of festivals.) In addition, every seven years, all the slaves were to be set free and their debts forgiven.

There were different types of slaves. Slaves captured in war, those serving to pay off a debt of theft, poverty (using your own life as collateral for debts - indentured servants), serving in order to earn something desired (example: Jacob serving for Rachel), and then the ultimate slavery: bondslaves, which were not set free every seven years. This is the concept is introduced in Exodus 21. A bondslave made a willing choice to enter into a lifetime of servitude. The motivating factor was to be love - love for the master and the family that may have been acquired while in servitude. (See Exodus 21:5) This is the kind of slavery that God has called us to, just as Christ exemplified. He calls us to be willing slaves, motivated by love.

CHRIST - our example
  • Philippians 2:5-7 - Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a slave, and was made in the likeness of men.
  • Psalm 40:6 - Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened*; burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (*this is a reference to the practice of driving an aul through the ear of a declared bondservant. See Exodus 21:6)

Conclusions:
  1. I am 20 and 2/3 years old. In 4 months and 3 days, I will be 21. As far as Lamentations 3:27 goes, I'm pretty much out of my youth. I'm pretty certain it was referring to childhood. However, that doesn't mean I can't still learn lessons of servitude and hard work. It will just be a bit harder to ingrain them into my life until they become habitual. Thankfully, I had great parents who taught me a lot. But there's always more to learn. I'm hoping that I am still youthful (and teachable) enough to learn the valuable lessons to be gained from a yoke of servitude.
  2. I want to be a bondservant to Christ. I want my yoke to be Christ's yoke. That's what Mary the mother of Christ chose when she willingly accepted the humiliation and potential death that came with being pregnant out of wedlock. That's what Christ chose by surrendering all to the Father. I want to DELIGHT to do His will, motivated by love. This is true freedom. Bondservant to Christ = Freedom. It appears to be a paradox. Yes.

*Make Me a Captive, Lord - Hymn #568
George Matheson (1842-1906)

Make me a captive, Lord
And then I shall be free
Force me to render up my sword
And I shall conqueror be
I sink in life's alarms
When by myself I stand
Imprison me within Thine arms
And strong shall be my hand

My heart is weak and poor
Till it a master find
It has no spring of action sure
It varies with the wind
It cannot freely move
Till Thou has wrought its chain
Enslave it with Thy matchless love
And deathless it shall reign

My will is not my own
Till Thou has made it Thine
If it will reach a monarch's throne
It must its crown resign
It only stands unbent
Amid the clashing strife
When on Thy bosom it has leant
And found in Thee its life

*Additional thoughts on the topic that were added later
**Also, if you want a more concise post on this topic, you can visit John Howe's post entitled Slavery.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Thanks for reading my blog. =)

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