What does it mean to be a slave? What does it mean to be free?
In the Bible there are many stories about being a slave. Do you know what a slave is? A slave is someone who does not have freedom. A slave was owned and controlled by another person, and had to do whatever they said. Even though they were a person, a slave was treated like they were just a thing, like they were a piece of property.
God never wanted people to turn each other into slaves. When Joseph was made a slave by his brothers, God turned him from a slave into a ruler of Egypt. And when the Israelites were made into slaves in Egypt, God rescued them from that slavery and turned them into his chosen people. But sometimes God would let his people be enslaved when they sinned. Why? Because God wants us to see that we are all born enslaved BY SIN. So when his chosen people were enslaved by other nations, God was trying to show us was that we are enslaved by our own sin and selfishness.
Hundreds of years after God rescued his people from Egyptian slavery, another wicked nation, the Assyrians, came and threatened to make the Hebrews into slaves again. Then along came the prophet Nahum. Nahum spoke to the Hebrew people and told them that God would once again free them from slavery.
Nahum 1:13. And now I will break [the king’s] yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart.”
And, as always, God kept his promises. God didn’t let the Assyrians or King Ashurbanipal (that’s a fun name) make slaves of the Jews. He broke their yoke, and burst their bonds apart. Then, hundreds of years after Nahum, Jesus would come and set us free from something even worse than a wicked king. Jesus would free us from our sin. He would burst the bonds of our selfishness, and chain us to himself in love, showing us how to live and love like him.
Because of Jesus we can be free from our sin and selfishness.
With Jesus we are his servants who are free to be loved and love others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch Finding Nemo together if you have time. Talk about how Marlin wouldn’t let Nemo stay captive in a fish tank; he rescued him. In the same way God wouldn’t let us stay captive in our sin, so he came to rescue us through his Son, Jesus.
Jesus, you have set me free. Now I don’t have to always want my own way. Instead I can care about others and help them instead of only helping myself. Amen.