You were enslaved (Gal. 4:8)

“Formerly,

When you did not know God,

You were enslaved

To beings

That by nature

Are not gods.”

Ἀλλὰ τότε μὲν οὐκ εἰδότες Θεὸν ἐδουλεύσατε τοῖς φύσει μὴ οὖσιν θεοῖς·

Paul said, “Formerly, when you did not know God (Ἀλλὰ τότε μὲν οὐκ εἰδότες Θεὸν), you were enslaved (ἐδουλεύσατε) to beings that by nature (τοῖς φύσει) are not god (μὴ οὖσιν θεοῖς).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word φύσει, that means nature, origin, or birth.  Paul explained that in their former life they did not know God.  They were enslaved by things or beings that by birth and nature were not gods.  These false gods had enslaved them because they did not know the true God.  They had turned away from lifeless idols to the living God.  This was their past problem.  They had no contact with the true God, since all they knew were these various pagan manmade idol gods.  Do you know the true God?