Yesterday we talked a little bit about what it means to be owned. We understand what it means to own a thing like a football, car or house, and we even understand what it is to own an animal pet like a dog or cat. But in the modern world we have huge problems wrapping our mind around the idea that in Yahweh's Kingdom we can also 'own' people. To most people that represents slavery and is something abominable.
However, human beings aren't quite the same as animals or things. If you deliberately go and puncture the football you own and then burn it to ashes people will think you rather stupid but not be enraged. If you hurt or injure an animal maliciously then people will start to react. That is because it is clearly understood in the civilised world (a value inherited from the Torah) that we should be kind to animals. We are permitted to eat them (if they are kosher) but we are not allowed to torture them. We are expected to view and treat living things differently from inanimate objects. Thus when we talk about owning things and animals it is clearly understood that a different set of values applies.
Under the authentic Theocratic Government of Israel there were no prisons but there were carefully laid out rules and punishments. If you could not pay a debt you could sell yourself into indentured service, obligating yourself to a master until you had paid off your debt or until someone had paid the price for your release. You could be bought out of servitude by a relative known as a Kinsman-Redeemer. And though you belonged to your master during this period of service, you were protected by strict Torah rules requiring your master to treat you properly.
People often view such an arrangement with horror forgetting that indentured service is part and parcel of nearly every modern culture, though admittedly with some variations. We sell our services and bind ourselves to providing a service until we have fulfilled the conditions of the contract. If we break the contract, we can be taken to a court of law and fined or otherwise punished. During that period of contractual service, part of our life belongs to the one to whom we have sold our services. It may not be exactly the same as the Torah method but it is similar. When I signed up as a teacher in a school, I was owned by the school five days a week from 9 to 3 (or longer). I was not my own master. I had to do what I was told. When we had a good Head, life was good. When we didn't, life was bad. There are always good and bad bosses. Our bosses were called Head Masters or Head Mistresses and there was never any doubt as to what being a Master or Mistress meant.
Acording to Yahweh's Law in Scripure, everyone who accepts Yah'shua as his or her Messiah ceases to be owned by the devil but by Yahweh. There is an ownership transfer. When Israel fled Egypt by the mighty hand of Yahweh, there was an ownership transfer from Pharaoh to Yahweh.
When a man accepts Yah'shua as his Redeemer, his life has been purchased by the death of Messiah on the Cross. The blessings of this ownership are forgiveness from sin (erasure of guilt), protection, inner peace, a new born love for God and man, and the promise of eternal life, not to mention numerous other benefits.
As children we belong to our parents (in spite of governments challenging that and claiming to own our children to different degrees) on a temporary basis. We are their stewards, commissioned by Yahweh to take care of them, love them, and raise them in the truth.
When a young man grows up and leaves home and starts his own family, he ceases to be owned by his father any more and becomes a man unto himself. He belongs directly to Yahweh now.
When a young woman grows up and gets married, her father transfers his temporary ownership-stewardship to her new husband who becomes her new permanent owner. When the father gives the new bride to the new bridegroom, he is standing as the representative of Yah'shua and giving his daughter to her husband in exactly the same way as Yahweh gave Eve to Adam in the Garden of Eden, to whom she thenceforth belonged. Every bride is given the commission to submit to her husband in the same way as the Messianic Community or Church submits to Yah'shua (Jesus), and every bridegroom is to love his bride in the same way that Yah'shua loves the Messianic Community or Church (see Ephesians 5:22-23).
Another way of looking at this true pattern is to use the analogy given by Paul of the vine tree found in Romans 11. When we give ourselves to Yah'shua, transferring ownership from Satan, we are grafted like a branch into an olive tree which is Yah'shua. The branch is entirely dependent for its life from the main vine. It is from the vine that the branch derives its nourishment, blossoms and produces fruit. The grafting process denotes ownership and nourishment by the owner. When a woman is given to a man in marriage, she too is grafted in, but this time into her husband. The fruits are the children she produces as well as the characteristics of the Ruach haQodesh.
This explains why Paul describes the woman as the glory of the man and man as the glory of Elohim (1 Cor.11:7-9). This is not because the one is better than the other but because they were designed to work in concert - in this special arrangement in their allotted rôles. That is also why a woman cannot be without a man, or a man without a woman (1 Cor.11:11), and why Adam was lonely and unfruitful without Eve. She was given as his helpmeet so that she could bring glory to her husband by her works and he, by hers and by his own works - presented as joint-works - would bring glory to Yahweh.
When we claim that Yah'shua is our Redeemer, Deliverer or Saviour we are calling Him our ga'al - the One who buys back, as one might buy back property lost to a family. It's a word which occurs frequently in Leviticus 25 & 27 in connection with the redemption of property. If you find it an offense to be viewed as property then in all likelihood you will find Yah'shua and Yahweh an offence too. If we are too proud to be owned then we are too proud to be saved and too proud to be grafted in to the source of Eternal Life...and too proud to be married eternally.
Something to think about.