There comes a time

[Originally posted by alastairmcewan on 21 November 2015]

Jeremiah51, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24

“Your time is up” was what I didn’t want to hear from the man running the dodgems at the travelling sideshow. (In reality he was probably 15 but that was a lot older than me!) For a short time I was king of the circuit, well at least I thought I was.I might have paid my money to drive but the man determined how long that would be. I noticed he was not always consistent either as some sessions were longer or shorter than others.

In this long reading today (and chapter 50 yesterday) Jeremiah is saying just that. The Lord has decreed that the time of Babylon the great kingdom is over.He proclaims not just the future of Babylon’s destruction but that He the Lord is the architect of it. Just as God raised Babylon up as a tool of his judgement against Judah so he will stir up an enemy to attack and destroy her. He has determined the cause and timing of her demise.

Vs1&2

Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon,  against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai.

The identity of this destroyer is revealed in vs11 &29

The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance for his temple.

So the well known Phil2:10-11 verse is also as good as done: There will come a time when all will declare Jesus to be Lord willingly or unwillingly. May I believe it!

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father

In the Corinthians reading we follow on from Greg’s blog yesterday reflecting on Paul’s speaking of marriage and sexual immorality. Here Paul instructs the church members to remain in the station of life as they are when called to Christ.He gives 2 examples. Firstly his old favourite of circumcision is used to show that it matters not before the Lord whether you are or aren’t. Remain as you are. Good news indeed for the new gentile believers!

Like me though you may find his second example of slaves remaining as they are harder to accept.We abhor the practice of the taking of slaves from Africa and today sexual slavery in the eastern block and Asia. We are right to fight it passionately. Slavery in the first century was a bit different. Yes slaves were owned and to be obedient to their masters, they couldn’t just leave of their own volition.Masters though were to be fair to them and care for them. Christian slave owners were very answerable to God for the treatment of their slaves.

I suppose Paul is first calling all (slave or free) to be subject, that is slaves to Christ…..where we all are actually free…..from the price of sin. He adds then if you can gain your freedom as a slave then do so!

I wonder how many did. I would but only if being free from my earthly master gave me a better life! I also wonder if some after gaining freedom some wished they hadn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

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