"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

HTML

BOOKMARK AND SHARE

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

EXODUS – GOD’s MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE of ISRAEL FROM EGYPT – Chapter TWENTY ONE

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Exodus by pastor Chuck Smith 

EXODUS 21: “Slavery Laws for Israel” – by Albert Lopez, Facebook video not available.

INTRODUCTION: When God gave the 10 commandments, He didn’t expect Israel to keep the law; He wanted Israel to turn to Him because they would not be able to uphold the law on their own strength and with a sinful heart they would not want to.
The theme of dependency on the Lord has been shown time and time again with the Israelites, seeing that God had taken them through situations beyond human capabilities so in those situations God would show Himself mighty and the people would marvel and understand that He is God and they were not. 
Whatever commandments God gave or ordinances the people were to accept, obey and walk accordingly. That didn’t always happen as we have already seen, and we will continue to see. Just as quickly as God showed himself powerful and would marvel the socks off of the Israelites; just as quickly they complained of not having water or not having food.

For the Church, God has given us Himself and his gift of salvation. We are to accept it and obey Him by obeying what the Word says and by walking in this obedience through the power of the Holy Spirit! 

This won’t be in a perfect way only Jesus was able to walk perfectly. However, it will be with purpose and directionally because as the word says the love of Christ compels us and therefore controls us. If there is something in this world that you want to be controlled by or guided by is the love of Christ church. I know I do!!

God’s love gave us the 10 commandments. As we learned they were given to show us our sinfulness, our need for forgiveness for that sinfulness. God’s ultimate love was shown to us by him providing his perfect Lamb who would take away the sins of the world. With this we came to the conclusion that our only hope is running to that lamb who is our Lord Jesus Christ! 

In this chapter laws are given by God regarding slavery. The Old Testament never approves of slavery; but it recognizes it as part of the social order of the fallen man and tries to regulate it. An Israelite might choose to be a slave to pay off a debt – or get food and shelter in difficult times. 
It was like the issue of divorce; although it's not approved, Moses allowed it because of the hardness of the people’s hearts.

EXODUS 21:1-11
“Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: 2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. 3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.

7 “And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. 9 And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights. 11 And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money.

Verse 1:  Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them:

Ordinances or Judgments: This gives the idea that these matters of justice were arranged beforehand. Remember we serve an Omniscient God and He knew that His people once they were delivered would need direction. The Lord being a good and faithful God gave them the direction and order they would need.
Ephesians.2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them
.
The word “beforehand” in the Greek is proerchomai meaning, “go on ahead, or got there ahead”. God’s plan of redemption for the sinner who comes to Him was completed before the foundation of the world. If you are His, this all-knowing God is who you trust your present life to and who you trust your coming life to. 

Verse 2-4:  If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. 3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.

Buying a Hebrew servant: The most common way to have a Hebrew servant was obtaining them through a debt demanding restitution as part of the penalty.
Leviticus.25:39-43
For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. Six years... but on the seventh he will be free:
The time to serve for an indebted Hebrew was six years, then he would be set free. What is implied is that the maximum debt, apart from one that requires the sale of his land, would be six years of work as a restitution.
Sadly, the Israelites did not obey God's voice:
Jeremiah 34:14-16
14 “At the end of seven years let every man set free his Hebrew brother, who [a]has been sold to him; and when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you.” But your fathers did not obey Me nor incline their ear. 15 Then you [b]recently turned and did what was right in My sight—every man proclaiming liberty to his neighbor; and you made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name. 16 Then you turned around and profaned My name, and every one of you brought back his male and female slaves, whom you had set at liberty, at their pleasure, and brought them back into subjection, to be your male and female slaves.’
As for slavery, when we talk about being a slave, it is a symbolic reference to sin, the world, and the devil.  Jesus explains this further:
John.8:32-34, 44
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered Him, We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’? 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it
.
Speaking to a group of Jews who had believed in Him and telling them to remain or abide in His word...this kind of reminds us of abiding in the true vine. and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
Then Jesus goes on in vs. 45 and tells them "you are not of God".

Exodus 21:5
But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,

If the servant insists... I love my lord:

In consideration of the servant, he had the right to serve his owner for a lifetime to preserve the family he had acquired during his servitude.
Deuteronomy.15:15-18
And you are to remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I am commanding this of you today. 16 But it shall come about, if he says to you, ‘I will not leave you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is doing well with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant permanently. You shall also do the same to your female slave. 18 “It shall not seem difficult for you when you set him free, because he has given you six years with double the service of a hired worker; so the LORD your God will bless you in whatever you do.
Just like this example in Exodus, if the slave is given a woman and a son or daughters and does well, he wants to be the slave of his owner for life; in the same way, Jesus is our owner and in comparison, to giving us a woman or son or daughter, He has given us freedom from the bondage of sin together with all His riches. Furthermore He has given us eternal life! I would say the trade-off is in our favor, wouldn’t you!?

A slave was given shelter, clothing, and food. With this in mind when you are in Christ, he is the one who comes to live within you through the Holy Spirit. He dresses you in His righteousness and feeds us the Bread of Life that is Himself.

Returning to the idea of being a slave not out of obligation, but out of gratitude:
Here’s a Greek word: doulos: “a slave, a bond-servant”. We find that there were many men referred to themselves two examples were the Apostle Paul and Apostle Peter.

Paul a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, (Romans.1:1); Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, (2 Peter.1:1).

Many authors of the New Testament referred to themselves as servants. They understood that, although they preached of the freedom of sin through Jesus; these people were dedicated to Jesus as their only Master (Jesus must not only be our Savior, but also our Lord).

As we read, this is demonstrated in Deuteronomy:
“…and he shall be your servant permanently”.  
We as the servants of Jesus are called to serve Him forever!
John.12:26
If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
John.13:16 
Truly, truly I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 
This is the point of slavery in the service of God:
Mark.10:42-45
42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
The wonderful thing about this is that Jesus does not look at us as just servants:
John.15:15 
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Exodus 21:5-7
5 But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.
7 And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.

Many times, parents sold their children before selling their properties because if they sold their properties beforehand it became impossible for them to have enough money to buy their children and have them returned to them.

The situation was most critical of daughters who were sold into servitude because their master or his son could pressure her to marry the master or his son. Even more so, they were more exposed to sexual exploitation. His daughters are described as enslaved. This is a Hebrew word kavash which means "to dominate". This word is often used in the Old Testament when referring to sexual relations.

Exodus 21:8-11
8 If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. 9 And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights. 11 And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money.

These verses deal with the condition and rights of a woman who would have been sold with the expectation of being considered a second-class wife. As was the case with Hagar who gave children to Abraham, as well as Bilhah and Zilpah who gave children to Jacob. In Hagar we see an example of how God cared for these women who might be used and then abandoned if God did not intervene in any way.

You can read about this back in Genesis 21; God said He would make a great nation out of Hagar’s son Ishmael and He has! Just about the entire Middle East!

Exodus 21:12-14
12 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. 13 However, if he did not lie in wait, but God delivered him into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place where he may flee. 14 “But if a man acts with premeditation against his neighbor, to kill him by treachery, you shall take him from My altar, that he may die. 15 “And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

Verse 13: This verse refers to involuntary (unintentional) manslaughter.... A place to flee or take refuge: This place of refuge was represented by the altar of God in the sanctuary. Later it would also be in the Levitical cities of refuge, although the altar would never lose its function of refuge.

Verse 14:  This is a murderer who goes to the sanctuary to take refuge. But even God's sanctuary was not going to protect someone who killed with intent or purpose. Neither the altar nor the city of refuge should be sanctuary for one who killed without need.

Verse 15:
15 And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

This law dealt with someone who attacked father or mother with the intention of physically harming.  This was definitely against the commandment to honor your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12). And the promise of having a long life was automatically lost because this person would die for this offense.

Exodus 21:16
16 He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.

Whoever kidnaps (steals) a person: by this statement, what Joseph's brothers did to him was worth the death penalty (Genesis.37:27-28)!

Exodus 21:17
17 And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

The one who curses his father or mother: The nature of curses is unclear. The Hebrew word means, “to despise or quarrel”. This verse is a second definition of Exodus.20:13 "You shall not kill", and it is similar to hurting, but in a verbal and non-physical way. It’s a fitting saying when they say: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”. Words hurt and kill, so that saying ‘words will never hurt me’ we can agree is not true.
Proverbs 20:20
He who curses his father or his mother, his lamp will go out in time of darkness.
(This can be an unexpected death; again, going back to the Fifth Commandment: not having a long life will be the result of not honoring your father and your mother)
Exodus 21:18-21
18 If men contend with each other, and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but is confined to his bed, 19 if he rises again and walks about outside with his staff, then he who struck him shall be acquitted. He shall only pay for the loss of his time, and shall provide for him to be thoroughly healed. 20 And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.

These verses speak against violence: If a slave died from being abused or beaten, death would be avenged by death. If the slave lived or survived, but had permanent wounds, the slave was given freedom. A death that happened sometime later was probably for another cause so the owner should not die.

Because He is his owner’s property: If the slave survived the punishment, he (owner) was given the benefit of the doubt as he did not want to unnecessarily reduce the slave's ability to work. (The owner gains nothing by hurting him because the slave becomes no good to him while he can’t work)

Exodus 21:22
22 “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; 
and he shall pay as the judges determine.

A fine was paid for a blow that caused a premature birth. Because of the fine imposed on the man, it is clear that birth is not normal.

Exodus 21:23-25
23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Life for Life: These verses introduce the principle of the law of vengeance where the guilty suffers punishment according to the crime committed. That's why the words “eye for eye, tooth for tooth”, are used. Mosaic law shows mercy, not only for the victim in ensuring the proper punishment of the guilty, but for the guilty in setting the limits of punishment so that it was not too severe.

Deuteronomy 25:2-3
2 then it shall be, if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, that the judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to his guilt, with a certain number of blows. 3 Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated in your sight (without being humiliated).
Jesus tells us this about vengeance:
Matthew.5:38-42
Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also.

The slap on your right cheek was a back-handed slap that was both insulting and could injure you because it was malicious. For this act Jewish law imposed a fine that was double the one for an open-palmed blow on the left cheek.
Thus, we see that Jesus urged his disciples not to seek vengeance even against the most offensive kind of blow.

This however does not mean we are not to defend ourselves; I think we can know the difference between defending ourselves and just wanting bad on someone else because of vengeance. Speaking of vengeance:

It also says in the Bible this about Vengeance:
Romans.12:19
Never seek your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord
Exodus 21:26-27
26 “If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for the sake of his eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.

We continue with the laws that protect slaves. In such a case they were to let the servant go free: Even if the law protected the life of the slave as a human being, he was the property of the owner; therefore, the owner would not be punished if the slave was punished and lived.

Exodus 21:28-32
28 “If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. 29 But if the ox tended to thrust with its horn in times past, and it has been made known to his owner, and he has not kept it confined, so that it has killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If there is imposed on him a sum of money, then he shall pay to redeem his life, whatever is imposed on him. 31 Whether it has gored a son or gored a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be done to him. 32 If the ox gores a male or female servant, he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Verse 30: rescue.... What is demanded of him (The price of life).
Jesus showed that, being God, He rescued the slave by paying the ransom price Himself.
1 Corinthians 6:20
For you have been bought for a (at a) price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Colossians 2:14
Having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

1 Peter 1:18-19
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
Exodus 21:33-36
And if a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner, but the dead animal shall be his. 
If one man’s ox hurts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the money from it; and the dead ox they shall also divide. 36 Or if it was known that the ox tended to thrust in time past, and its owner has not kept it confined, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall be his own.

No comments:

ReferenceTagging.tag();