From Salvation to Slavery

The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of my favorites. How he was spoiled and hated, sold as a slave, honored, betrayed and then honored again. When he finally reveals himself to the brothers who hate and abused him he says an interesting thing.

“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt. (‭Genesis‬ ‭45‬:‭4-8‬ MSG)

God meant for their time in Egypt to be a salvation for many. So why is it that it turns into slavery for them? What happened over the years that made them, allowed the people of Israel to accept the position of slavery.

Exodus tells us, “A new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. Exodus‬ ‭1‬:‭8 MSG)”. So why didn’t the people leave? I guarantee this didn’t happen overnight. I am guessing that there were political, economic tremors that had been felt and discussed for years. And I’m betting that the Israelites knew about it, saw it in the way they were treated, felt it in the stares of their neighbors.

So why didn’t someone remind them that this was never intended to be a permanent solution, this place was never supposed to be their home?

How about you and me? Are there things in your life, habits you’ve developed, places you go, a job that you took that at first helped you, at first provided comfort and help, but now you are a slave to it? Now you feel you can’t get free.

The people in Egypt had to be set free in amazing, miraculous ways. They went through 400 years of misery before they were free. You don’t have to wait for a Moses. You don’t have to wait for miracles, and you don’t want to.

You have a choice.

The Year of Jubilee

In the Old Testament there was a law that every fifty years all debts were cancelled, all slaves were set free.  It was supposed to be a time of great celebration.  But it was lost.

It was a pretty “normal” practice for those that would get themselves into debt to pay off the amount owed by becoming someone’s slave.  There were regulations written down for how it was supposed to work, amount owed years till Jubilee, stuff like that.  But, the wealthy of the land forgot about it.  Owed money meant slave for life.

Satan has taken this attitude toward people all over this world.  “You sold your body for that moment of pleasure.  You sold your heart for what was promised.  You gave away your birthright as children of the King to have your own way.  Now you’re mine.”  And we go through our days never expecting victory, never expecting freedom.

I’m just one small guy.  I don’t know how it all works.  I don’t know what year it is on the Jewish calendar.

But in Jesus name, I’m calling for a year of Jubilee.

God has set me free.  The debt I owed to satan and the weight of the condemnation he sets over me is cancelled.  Captives, slaves are no longer bound to him.  I am no longer bound to him.

And I know this, I speak with the authority of God Himself because He never created us for slavery to addiction, He never designed us to live for another.  He spoke us, each one of us, into existence for freedom, for joy.  He brought us from our mothers to live for Him and there is no greater freedom than this.

We just have to live it.

“All Things Work Together…”

What a crock!

I know it’s scripture but, seriously, what a crock.

Raised in an abusive, dysfunctional home.  Molested as a child, repeatedly.  Bullied, ridiculed, demeaned.  Rejected by many that I needed, really, truly needed to be loved by.  Marginalized by the church as a rebel.  Looked down on for how I question things, the questions that I ask, the inherent flaws that must be present in a person who questions God.  Every time I asked for something, it either came across as being arrogant, thinking I deserved it, or as weak, lacking confidence.  So many opportunities stripped away, even when I had the necessary skills, the drive to do what needed done, all because of some ambiguous, not-the-right-fit kind of reason.

“More than conquerors…”

Really?

Broke all the time.  Can’t sell a book.  Can’t buy a full-time ministry position.  My job doesn’t like me.  I can’t get promoted.  I’m not even sure my wife and kids like me most of the time.

Now maybe, no one who reads this can relate to what I’m saying.  But, I bet, if you look down deep, everyone one of you has had questions, doubts about the validity of the two scriptures that I quoted.

Is God working all things together for my good?

My heart breaks over the abuse of children, sex-trafficking of people, slavery, bullying, loneliness.  I can’t see a person sitting alone in a room without wondering what’s going on inside them.  When I hug the son of a single mom, I want them to know that they are loved, they matter, they are not rejected.  When I pray, I hear the voice of my Father, my Daddy as His great, loving heart weeps over the brokenness of this world.

Through addiction and defeat I have seen the power, the relentless juggernaut of God’s passion for the healing, restoration, discipline and release of His warriors.  I have tasted His desire for all people to be free.  FREE!  Not bound by rules and decrees.  Not robots with mindless movements and subjugated wills.  FREE and ALIVE human beings.

And I have found freedom.  I have come to see the walls torn down, the strongholds broken, the infections lanced, drained and healed.  I have seen my heart of stone restored to a heart of flesh.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

It is true.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

IT IS TRUE!

All because HE LOVES US!!