Bought In The Market
The days of a human being sold at markets like cattle have long passed.
One of the last places to abolish slavery was not in America, but in the Mohammedan lands.
When Christians of the American race were driven from their homes, one particular Christian mother and daughter were among the exiles. The hardships and perils paid a heavy toll. The mother had endured more than seemed humanly possible. Finally, she recognized she could not live much longer.
The mother gave the daughter the terrifying news of the decision she had come to during the night. “My daughter, I love you very much.”
“Yes,” the daughter replied, I know that.”
“Well, this’s going to seem terrible to you, but I believe that it is God’s will for you.”
“What are you talking about?” the disturbed girl asked.
“I can’t live much longer. You’re still young, but you can’t take it very long like this. As difficult as it is to say, I believe that you will be much better off if I sell you as a servant to one of the Mohammedan families.”
“Oh, no, Mother,” the girl cried. Please don’t do that.”
The mother persisted in her feelings that it was God’s will. “You see, my darling, I can’t take care of you. You’ll be snatched up by anyone as soon as I die. I’ve notice that the younger women get along so much better who are working as servants.”
After much crying and pleading, the two agreed that the mother was right. As difficult as it was to part, the daughter became a servant in a Mohammedan family. As long as she served as a servant she had comparative safety.
After a time, however, the master called her into his room. I’m afraid I have bad news for you. I can’t afford to keep you any longer. I’m going to have to take you to the slave market tomorrow. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it has to be.”
The terrified girl ran into the small room they had provided for her. Falling on the small carpet that also served as her bed, she began to cry profusely. Then she reflected back on her childhood days. She had been raised in a Christian family, but she had never had a Christian experience. She had always known that it was the right thing to do, But put off the time as many young people do. Now in her sore need, she wished that she had accepted Christ as he Saviour and Lord.
“Oh, God.” She cried, I’m so sorry that I put off becoming your child. How can I turn to you now? When I had a family, a home, food and clothing of my own, I didn’t take time for You. I didn’t turn to You when I had all the opportunities in the world. How can I expect You to help me now when I’m in trouble?”
As she lay there thinking of all the lost opportunities and unappreciated privileges, one passage of scripture came to her mind. She did not even remember memorizing it, but still she could quote it. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee.”
Over and over she repeated it. “Dear Lord,” she prayed, “I’m sorry that it took all this to bring me to You. I’m so ashamed of my past. Will You please forgive me?”
In that tiny cubicle of a room, the Holy Spirit was able to break through the barrier Satan had placed between her and the Lord. She found courage as well as forgiveness. She found a Saviour as well as peace of mind. That night she prayed for deliverance.
When the Mohammedan master took her to the slave market, she was terrified at the sight of such a crowd. The village marketplace buzzed with the varied noises that only told her that her fate was soon to be known. A number of women were to be sold that day. She was stunned to find herself being dragged onto the elevated platform first.
She couldn’t control the eerie feeling that came over her as she stood there with all these men staring at her. As the bidding began she became nauseated. “Oh, Lord, please help me,” was all she could silently pray over and over again.
The bidding narrowed down to about five men. As their rivalry for her increased, she became more terrified. Every single one of them looked so cruel and barbarous. She knew that one of those fiercely competing men would soon carry her off like a wild animal.
Then an old Arab made his way towards the front. He looked right into her eyes. He seemed to be more sever than all the others put together. She felt as if she was going to die, right on the spot, when this old man, whose stare was more frightening, also started to bid for her.
The other bidders became infuriated at the Arab for entering into the contest for another human being’s life. One or two of the angry Mohammedan bidders scolded him and told him to go away. He kept on bidding.
At last the final bid was made. The Arab was the purchaser!
Without saying a word he led her away by the rope that auctioneers had tied around her neck. She was so afraid that she stumbled and staggered through the crowd. It was obvious to the old man that she was scared to death.
He led her away from the market, around a corner, and down a side street. Then he stopped, looked at her and smiled. It was not the sinister smile she had expected, but with compassion and understanding. Somehow she was instantly relieved.
“Don’t be afraid,” He said in perfect Armenian. “You won’t be hurt. My wife is here and she will take good care of you. I didn’t buy you because I needed or wanted you.”
And with this said, he removed the rope and gently led her by the arm to an elderly lady who was sitting at an outdoor restaurant table.
The Arab and his wife cared for the young girl throughout the rest of the war. Then they helped her get back to her own land and to the remainder of her relatives. Before the Arab and his wife left the girl in the hands of an aunt, they walked off together to say good-bye.
“I want to tell you something before we leave,” the kind Arab told the young lady. “The night before I came into the slave market I got the deep impression that I was to go to the slave market. This impression came to me several times until I recognized it must be from God. As Christians we knew that when something so strong comes to a believer like that, it has to be followed through, even though the reason is not given. So we went into town the next day in obedience to what we felt was the command of the Lord. “You see,” he continued, “in the night I seemed to picture myself at the slave market buying a young slave girl. I have never bought a slave before in my life and had no intention of ever doing so. When I entered the crowd and saw you on the platform, I recognized you as the one I saw in my dream!”