If you click the link HERE, you’ll find a paper I wrote a few years ago for a class on Chronicles. In summary, the paper looks at the role Chronicles plays in moving the people of God along towards God’s ideal of peaceful non-violence seen most fully in Jesus. There is a redemptive movement at work throughout the Bible. God is constantly calling those who follow him towards a different way of living than the world around them. However, God does not just instantly and suddenly expect humanity to be living out God’s ultimate ideal. God moves humanity along.
So, for instance, slavery is seen in Scripture. Even in the New Testament slaves are instructed to obey their masters (Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22). Does this mean Christians should condone slavery? Is this God’s ideal? Certainly not! Within the cultures that the Bible was written in, the Bible consistently calls for fair treatment of slaves and to “remember that you were once slaves.” God’s people are expected to live differently. In the New Testament Paul writes a book to a guy named Philemon. It seems a slave of Philemon’s, Onesimus, has run away from Philemon and found sanctuary with Paul. Onesimus becomes “Mr. Handy” (a rough translation of Onesimus’ name) to Paul. Eventually Paul sends him back to his master with a letter in hand which instructs Philemon to welcome back his “slave” as a brother. Paul and the rest of the Bible seem to be turning slavery on its head. Even the idea that Paul tells slaves to obey their master is a radical idea. Slaves in the first century had no choice. Within the cultural context the Bible is questioning surrounding practices.
Something similar can be seen in how the Bible addresses violence. If you’re into digging into this subject a little deeper click my paper above. Leave your thoughts or questions below. Thanks!