God Allowed Slavery – Ron Cosby

Ron Cosby

A host of websites condemn God because, as they see it, He allowed slavery under the Law of Moses. Yet, when the truth is learned, the condemner must acknowledge that his condemnation of God is unjustified. The condemner is simply wrong. Furthermore, his own social system, which he advocates in his own land, is far inferior to God’s. Here ar e three facts that bear heavily upon the subject.

One of the most important things to bear in mind is that slavery under Judaism of old was not equivalent to the slavery system of the Egyptians, or the Romans, or the black man in America. They are not even close!

Under God’s system, so-called “slavery” was basically voluntary. Under the Law of Moses, a man became a servant in one of three ways. 1) He was an enemy in war who volunteered to be a servant rather than to die in war. 2) He was a law breaker who deserved to be punished severely. 3) He was a debtor who volunteered his services to another for the debt that he could not repay. In most of the situations, those who voluntarily became slaves were choosing a better life.

While we are looking at the manner of becoming a servant, take a closer look and note the contrast in facts and details concerning each mode. The first to study is for a soldier to become a slave instead of dying. During World War Two, Americans gave the Japanese the options of either surrendering to the defeating army and becoming their captives or they could fight to the death. God’s offer to the war enemy of Israel to become a servant was even better than America’s offer to the war captives (Deut. 20:10-11). As far as the sentence toward the law breaker is concern, the guilty felon who decided to become a “slave” in Israel did not have his freedom completely taken away since he was able to avoid imprisonment. This, too, was a better offer than is presented in the legal system of any nation. Then, finally, the man in Israel who had too much debt simply became an indentured servant. At the least, this is equivalent to a low-paying employee. This was much better, both in profitability and dignity, than in going on welfare. More contrasts could be noted but these are sufficient to make an educated conclusion concerning God’s slavery system.

Another important issue that bears on the subject is, God regulated slavery. His regulations forbade cruelty, severity, harshness, and physical and mental abuse against the enslaved, making their service more like a contracted employee than a slave (Lev 25:35- 54). Contrast God’s mind set with the slavery of Egypt, or Rome, or America. In these systems, if you killed your slave, you simply destroyed your own property Too bad! Who cares?! Not so with God! Slaves were to be accounted as humans, with rights and privileges. Turning to the New Testament instructions, we see the underlying reasons God afforded protection to servants (Eph 6:9; Col 4:1). Slaves were human just like their masters. And, masters needed to remember, the master himself had a far superior Master to whom he would one day give an account.

The idea that most have of slavery today is far, different than the servitude which God allowed. It is better to be a servant in the midst of godly people than to die. It is better to pay your debt to society than be a burden in the prison system. It is better to pay your debts than to beat another out of what you owe. When properly understood, what God instructed men to do is superior to the practice of people today. Those who condemn God for their erroneous view of God’s servitude need to rethink and retract their mistaken position. They ought to write a fair assessment of the subject.

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Author: Editor

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