Nov 4, 2008

What About the People in the 400 Years of Slavery?

"Then the Lord said to Abram, 'Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years; but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions" (Genesis 15:13-14).

For a people as individualistic as we are, the promises of God to Abram are absolutely frightening. We cannot help but think about our relationship to God in an individualistic way - my salvation, my God, etc.

But I wonder if that's the best way to think about God.

Just look at the promise of God in Genesis 15. What about all those people who have to live for 400 years in oppression and slavery? What about their rights? What about their freedom? What do they get in the promise of God?

But they have to be there. There needs to be 400 years of oppression. So are those people blessed for being enslaved because they are a part of God's plan?

Man, I don't know. I don't know how to make sense of all this.

What I do know is that sometimes the actualization of the promises of God take time. And often times, it takes more time than I am comfortable with. I hate waiting. I hate the in between time. I want God doing great things time all the time.

That's why I find such passages so difficult to understand. It's still God's word so I will keep wrestling with it.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Ya know, sometimes I wonder if it was easier to be an enslaved Israelite. Before you think I'm crazy, just think how awesome it would be to live free of financial burden, how comforting it would be to know what you will be doing every single day, to not have to worry about feeding my family or paying for my daughter's activities. Not that life would be very "exciting" as a slave, but maybe seeking excitement and the "feeling" of happiness is what gets us off God's track. How easy it would be to serve if we had no other choice, as the Israelis had no other choice but to serve Pharaoh. I think God wants us to be HIS slaves, free from financial burden and ALL worries. Maybe God allowed the Israelis to be enslaved so they would learn in a tangible way how they/we should view Him-Our Master! And, how much easier life is as a servant, His servant.