Matthew 20:28 (The Bondage of the Temporal Pleasures Sin)

In this verse Jesus states that He came to give His life as a ransom for many, and as we have seen, the word ransom implies that the state of man apart from this deliverance is one of bondage; bondage to what primarily?  See Joh 8:34, Rom 7:14, Tit 3:3.  In what sense do people’s sins represent a real slavery and bondage?  See Rom 7:15-24 and consider: is it possible apart from righteousness for a person to ever find the true lasting joy and rest and peace and prosperity that we think of as being free from bondage?  See Exo 16:3, Num 11:5 and consider further: does the fact that people find a temporal pleasure in sin mean that sin is any less enslaving than was the land of Egypt in spite of its “flesh pots” (KJV) for which the Israelites longed to return?  What flesh pots entice people today to a similar bondage?  Think: in what way are many today exploited and enslaved by the temporal pleasures they find in alcohol and drugs?  Even regarding “legal” drugs, in what ways are so many today exploited and enslaved by the massive pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries?  Think: In spite of the many drugs people take today, are they really living any longer than they did over 3000 years ago?  See Psa 90:10; cf. Deut 34:7.  Are people really free when they are forced to work at a job they hate because they need health insurance to afford their “meds”, or because they live in fear of the “what if” of getting sick or injured?[1] Are not people only truly free when they fear God and can entrust all such cares to Him?  Cf. Mat 16:25.

Or what about the flesh pots of pornography, immorality, and gluttony that have afflicted our American society? Although many think of these as a reflection of their freedom and liberty, in what way do they in fact reflect the lusts of their own flesh that the Egyptians of our own day have used to ensnare and exploit them?  Are people really free when they are slaves to their own passions and “can’t help themselves”, so that they do not do the good that they wish, which they know would result a better quality of life, but instead they practice the very evil that they do not wish (Rom 7:19), which they know is depriving them of a much greater happiness?  Although it is more acceptable in our society to be a glutton than a lecher, is it possible that those who cannot restrain their appetite for food are as much in bondage to their flesh and ensnared by the food industry as those who cannot restrain their sexual appetite are in bondage to their flesh and ensnared by the sex industry?  See Eze 16:49 and cf. Phil 3:19.  Is the present plague of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and other afflictions associated with an overindulgence in food any less than the plague of venereal diseases and AIDS associated with an overindulgence in sex?  And are these really any less than the afflictions the Israelites experienced as slaves in Egypt, or just different?  Cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2nBBMbjS8w and then especially http://www.therealbears.org/#video.  Besides being exploited by the industries that feed their appetites, how has people’s bondage to the flesh also enslaved them to the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries?  Think: how much of America’s healthcare problems and costs for insurance would disappear if people simply ate less food and obeyed God’s laws regarding sexual purity?  Parents often bemoan the sexual promiscuity of their children, but are their own fleshly appetites for food really much different?  Are not the lusts older people have for food a very short distance from the lusts youth have for sex?  Considering they are the same lusts of the flesh, should parents who have no self-control in regard to food be surprised when their children have no self-control in regard to sex?  Cf. the very first fruits of the flesh and the very last fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:19 and 23.

Consider too the greed that is so prevalent today: In what way has the lusts of their eyes for houses and cars and boats and other toys, or even a good education enslaved millions financially to the banking industries?  How much less bondage and how much more rest, peace, health, wellness, and family happiness that we associate with real freedom might people have if they were completely free of such lusts, so that families got by on one income, wives were keepers at home, children were not sent off to daycare, and people had idle time to develop relationships with others in their family and communities and think more deeply about the things that really matter?  Or in what similar way has people’s dependence upon the government to provide for them also enslaved them to a multitude of bureaucracies?  How is this similar to the way the Egyptians in the days of Joseph became serfs of Pharaoh?  Cf. Gen 47:13-21,24-25.  Although God’s people were in favor with Pharaoh at that time because of Joseph and lived in the best of the land and increased in number, did their own bondage to iniquity allow them to escape the same servitude?  Cf. Gen 15:13, Exo 1:7-11.  Is it really a surprise that the freedoms Americans cherish are being eroded at the same rate that their expectations and demands that someone else provide for them are increasing?  How much less bondage, and what greater freedom, might people have without all the strings attached to their “free” government money and subsidies?

 


1. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”  Patrick Henry.

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