“I’ll set up my residence in your neighborhood; I won’t avoid or shun you; I’ll stroll through your streets. I’ll be your God; you’ll be my people. I am God, your personal God who rescued you from Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians. I ripped off the harness of your slavery so that you can move about freely.
-Leviticus 26:11-13 (MSG)
It’s difficult for me to imagine what it would be like to be enslaved. A “life” full of nothing but forced labor. Not being viewed as a valuable creation but rather as as machine owned and controlled by someone else. It had to be a very dehumanizing and undignified experience.
The people of Israel however could imagine what that was like because they experienced it firsthand in Egypt. And here God makes a subtle yet beautiful reminder to them: I’m here. I’m your’s and you’re mine. I rescued you. You’re free.
I can bet that the idea that God had ripped off the harness of slavery was something that could really resonate with them. And the more I think about it, it is something that Christians should be able to relate to as well.
I once was a slave too, specifically a slave to sin. It had control of me. It consumed me. But God ripped off the harness of my slavery though the sacrifice of his very own Son. The shame of my past in slavery is gone; God has forgiven and he has forgotten.
God’s words to the Israelites are almost as if he’s saying, “Hold your head up high. You are not who you once were. You are free from your past, and that is something that is worth celebrating.”
Thank you Lord for the gentle reminder.