For several years I have been saying that I am going to take an American History class, and yes, I have procrastinated. But as soon as I hear a story, like I did this evening on a local TV program called “Finding Your Roots” my desire for the class is rekindled.
This evening I watched an amazing story about the Peyton Polly family and their history of slavery. What a story! Watch for yourself and you to will be amazed!
Stories about slaves and masters never cease to amaze me, and are even mentioned in the Bible. The Apostle Paul also instructs us on overcoming slavery to sin. My favorite story is the one about ancient Israel, who were held in bondage by the Egyptians. The Lord sent Moses and Aaron to deliver them. Miracles were performed before Pharaoh to convince him that these men were especially sent of God to bid him let Israel go. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened against the messengers of God, and he reasoned away the miracles performed by them. Then the Egyptians were made to feel God’s judgements. They were visited with plagues, and while suffering under the effects of them, Pharaoh consented to let Israel go. A lot more to the story of Pharaoh’s hardened heart in the Bible, found in the book of Exodus chapters 7-12.
I love the part of the story that tells about the Egyptian pursuit after the children of Israel. When the Israelites saw the Egyptians coming after them, some upon horses and some in chariots, all equipped for war, they were terrified! The Red Sea was before and the Egyptians were behind. They could see no way of escape. They could hear the Egyptians shouting in celebration, finding the Israelites completely in their power. What happened next? The Lord is always faithful to His promises! God commanded Moses to bid the children of Israel to go forward , and to lift up his rod, stretch out his hand over the sea and divide it. Moses did as he was told, the sea parted and the host of israel crossed over on dry land.
Pharaoh rejected God for so long, and hardened his heart against Him, that in blindness he rushed into the path that God had miraculously prepared for His people. Again Moses was commanded to stretch forth his hand over the sea, “and the sea returned to his strength,” and the waters covered the Egyptian host, and they were drowned.
Many people mock this Biblical story and call it a “fairy tale.” The reason? They compare God’s power with human power, and forget that He is the Almighty God, and that with Him “all things are possible.” Human power is very limited.
Did God think slavery was right? Even though I might not fully understand all that the Bible speaks about it, I do believe that God believes in equality, and that He is not oppressive or unjust! Not when he gave his Only Begotten Son to die for the world! And not when he gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…”
I love God’s way! It is the best way! This is why he calls us away from slavery to sin!