The Evil of Slavery Part One
A continuation of our study in the book of Amos
Week #3 Amos 1:6-8
6 Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they carried into exile a whole people to deliver them up to Edom. 7 So I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, and it shall devour her strongholds. 8 I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod, and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; I will turn my hand against Ekron, and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,” says the Lord GOD.
We see the same poetic patterns and pronouncement of judgment for the sin of enslavement, and carrying away a group of people from their homes and planting them somewhere else. While the emphasis is on the brutality by which they were treated, the idea of enslavement is also an abomination to the Lord. Many have felt that God has condoned slavery because of Paul’s language in his epistles, but that could not be further from the truth. When Paul discusses slaves in Ephesians and Colossians he addresses them as fellow believers and gives them protocol of how to live out the gospel in their current situation, but Philemon clearly indicates that Paul’s desire for slaves is to be freed, and it was scripture read rightly that helped formulate some of the theology of the abolitionist groups in England and the US. Galatians 3L28 indicates that whether or not you are “Slave or Free” we are “All ONE in Christ Jesus.”
It seems clear from verses such as this one that God disdains human cruelty and enslavement. Today we have a crises of slavery all through the world including the United States. Men and women kidnapped and used as low paid workers and/or sexual slaves is despicable and something God will judge,
- Why is God so down on slavery?
- Why does it matter?
- What should believers be doing about it today?
- Why do humans enslave other humans?
- How is this a despicable affront to the gospel of Jesus?