Frederick Douglass was born a slave in 1818. He grew up to become a powerful advocate to set slaves free. After gaining his freedom, he wrote a book, entitled Narrative. In it he describes the contradictory theology of slavery and slaveholders. He wrote, “The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slaves are drowned in the religious shouts of the pious master.” He also said, “He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me.” Of course, chattel slavery is illegal today, but attitudes of oppression, cheating, and depriving people of justice often still exist. Long ago, Judge Jephthah had to deal with an enemy nation trying to steal land God had gifted his people. We read in Judges chapter 11 that Jephthah tried to negotiate a settlement with the Ammonites. When that failed, he turned to God in faith, and God Almighty gave him the victory in the events that followed. God expects us—His people—to always treat others with love, respect, dignity, and justice because we represent the King of kings who Himself is loving, holy, and just.
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