12/29/2012 Sabbath Broadcast Transcript

"Precepts & Principles of the Torah - Understanding Slavery”


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EliYah’s message:

We are looking forward to sharing another study from our series, which may be an unending series, and it’s called “Precepts & Principles of the Torah”.

The topic that we want to cover today in our study series called “Precepts & Principles of the Torah” is…‘Understanding Slavery’. 

The very word ‘slavery ‘sends shivers up the spines of some of us. The thought of the word…being somebody’s slave…the yoke of men, which is often very wicked in the way that they rest their yoke on other people.  

And so, the concept of slavery, and the idea of slavery almost unanimously in our culture, especially today, has a very negative connotation. And I could fully understand why it would.

But, we also need to look into the scriptures. And in the scriptures we find…not really anything saying slavery is bad.  We see some hints of certain kinds of slavery is bad, but not all types of slavery, necessarily, is considered to be bad.

But… you know, I understand. The negative thoughts and connotations….I mean, for me, if I didn’t look at the scriptures at all, and when I think of ‘slavery’ this automatic thought comes to my mind about one man standing over another with a whip, ready to whip the slave into shape at the slightest infraction.

But this is not the picture I get when I look into the scriptures.

Now, for Americans like myself, and others as well, a lot of our modern impressions comes from the horror stories that many of us have read about or heard about concerning slavery in the United States.

But the truth be told, biblical slavery was never practiced in America. Biblical slavery was heavily regulated, but there were no apparent regulations placed on slave owners in the United States.  Men from other nations were captured in war, in some cases but, especially toward the end, more often kidnapped by slave-traders.  And then sold to buyers in the United States and Europe and (the United States wasn’t the only place)….other places throughout the world.

And this was wickedness. This is utter wickedness according to the book of Exodus chapter 21. Yahweh says…

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

And so, much of the slave trade in the early years of the United States, is completely unbiblically based. It’s on a foundation of unrighteousness. Men having been ripped from their families and sentenced to a life-long sentence of servitude under harsh and ruthless owners, and being treated like animals…you know, my heart just ripped out when I hear these stories. These poor men and woman that had to undergo this cruelty…It is a blot on the history of our nation.

But you know, Israel themselves were these kinds of slaves in Egypt. They were treated with cruelty and with rigor. And for this reason we see the very first thing…I mean, Yahweh gave His 10 commandments. That’s what we needed to get started with.

 And I’ve already covered, as far as precepts and principles in the Torah (Yahweh’s Law)…I’ve already covered the 10 commandments here about 8 months ago. We did a 5 part series on the 10 commandments. And so, I’m not just going to go back and repeat all that again. If you want to find that portion covered, then you can simply go to the archives. Go to eliyah.com…you will see a link that says ‘archives’. And you can find that listed on that page, and you can just watch it.

So, I’m not going to cover Exodus 20. I am going to cover Exodus 21, which is the next area.  

And I thought it was interesting…here the Israelites just came out a slavery where they were being forced to undergo hard labor, and with rigor, and with task masters, and these things. But they needed to have their minds reprogrammed, or refreshed, or renewed… to have biblical understanding of slavery.

And so, Exodus 21 is Yahweh’s guidelines for how slavery should be handled in Israel. And we start off with verse 1…

 Exo 21:1-2Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go our free and pay nothing.

Now, notice this word here…’judgment’.

There are statutes, there are judgments, and there are laws… And these are judgments. These are how a society, that seeks to function in a righteous manner, should handle the slavery question. This is the way society would handle it.

Now before you…There’s some of you, (I can just feel it), who are saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa…Wait a minute! You are going to tell me that you, EliYah - or you Tom Martincic, that you are an advocate of slavery?”

 Before I answer that question, let’s look at all the scriptures dealing with the question about slavery. And please understand, if Yahweh is ordaining something, if He’s establishing something, I don’t care really what anybody else thinks. I’m for it, too. But we need to understand also, that in everything that Yahweh does …it’s always about love.

And I can defend that, I think, pretty thoroughly just by looking at the scripture and understanding Yahweh’s intent here. So, let’s read this…

Exo 21:1-2Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go our free and pay nothing.

…Alright. Yahweh could have banned slavery outright. He could have outlawed the idea of one man owning another man. And Israel possibly would have been in the position to receive such a law because they were slaves themselves. They knew what it felt like. But He didn’t. …And why? Why didn’t he?

 Instead he sought to regulate it. Instead, He put controls on it that would redefine what slavery actually was.  And in fact, there’s even one instance where he commanded slavery. And that’s in…

Exo 22:1-3If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Now today…ok, so we see this…he’s sold for his theft.  He is put into slavery, and this was a judgment that Yahweh gave…that He allowed and He actually commanded. So, I can’t say that Yahweh is against all forms of slavery when I read something like this. But think about this for a moment. Today, if a man is caught stealing, where does he go? …Into prison. But you know slavery, if done biblically, is actually more humane than prison.

I mean, prisons are horrific places where you live with other criminals who may murder you, and probably (in many cases, I hear)…will commit sexual perversions beyond your ability to fight back, and teach you how to be a more effective criminal.

 Now how is that not cruel and unusual punishment, right there? You have no freedom to enjoy the outside world, at all, unless you’re behind these fences. And you sit around in a cell, bored and unable to function as a normal human being should.

Now, is that better than biblical slavery, which does not do that to a person?  In fact, it would cure the thief of laziness, because he’s going to have to learn work habits…which would teach him skills and serve him well after he’s free. But, just as our own concepts of what slavery is, comes from our nation’s history… Israel’s concept of what slavery was came from what they experienced.

And so, the biblical slavery was completely different than what our nation, and what Israel was subjected to. In fact, we read…

 Deu 5:13-14 - Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

So, Yahweh didn’t make a distinction between the slave class of people and those who were not slaves. They were to rest just like everybody else. And so, yes they worked during the week …but who doesn’t? We all work during the week…and they worked under another man’s authority.

But, aren’t we all under authority? Aren’t you and I under authority? If you don’t think you’re under authority try cruising down the road at 100 miles per hour. Then you’ll find out you’re under, when you get caught. So, we are all under authority.

Slavery is the placement of a man under a particular family’s authority. And in many cases, it was the man to whom the person was indebted to…money wise.

Another thing about slavery, it says…

Deu 16:13-14You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter,

Who else?

…your male servant and your female servant

So slaves also get to enjoy the festivals. Not just the owners. It’s all one big feast

…and the Levite, the stranger and the father less and the widow, who are within your gates.

. And they would all get together as one people under Yahweh. Because in His mind there was neither slave nor free. They were all people who follow Yahweh. And all of them are equal in Yahweh’s eyes. It’s just that one person is having to work for another.

And so they were, in Yahweh’s eyes, all equals.  And the same is true…men and woman, slave and free, Jew and non-Jew. We’re all equal in Messiah.

Now furthermore, it was considered to even be inappropriate and wrong to slander one who was a slave, especially to his master. It says…

Pro 30:10Do not malign a servant t his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.

…Guilty of what? -  Slander. 

And that’s one of the things forbidden in Torah. You shall not go up and down as a tale-bearer among your people. Already, right off the bat, we’re looking at…just because someone is a slave owner that doesn’t give them the right to mistreat them.

In fact, if the slave ran away what would happen? He was able to find refuge in another person’s home. In fact, the person who took in that slave was not to oppress them, or even give them back to their owner. In fact, they were allowed to live where they wanted to, within that person’s house.

 Deu 23:15-16- You shall not give back to his master the slave who has escaped from his master to you He may dwell with you in your midst, in the place which he chooses within one of your gates, where it seems best to him;  you shall not oppress him.

See actually, if a slave ran away, you actually were supposed to give him a choice spot where he wanted to be. …If he chose to be, wherever he wanted within one of your gates. …Where it seems best to whom?  …To him. And you shall not oppress him.

And so, the slavery in Israel was very different than what we think of slavery being in ancient times.

Now, there were unrighteous nations who did not have these laws in this place…. These laws that would prevent the mistreatment of slaves...

But you know, you look here… just this alone, you don’t want your slave to run away. I mean, that would be a deterrent for any slave owner to mistreat the slave. Because that if you were so oppressive to the slave that he felt the need to run away, he would be given ammunition, or freedom, from enslavement. And he would be under another man’s household.

Now, I’m sure these matters were handled by judges. So as to determine, what was the reason for the person fleeing? Was it for just cause? Was it just laziness? And it would warrant an investigation. I mean, otherwise, the whole idea of there even being a slave would be useless, if any slave, anytime they wanted to go could just go. There had to be just cause. I’m sure.

 Now someone suggests here, this ruling in Deuteronomy 23 was for slaves escaping from another country wanting to take refuge in Israel. But, I don’t see that anywhere in the text itself.

But you know slaves did have rights. And the idea that we have of slavery, is certainly different than the idea that we’re reading here. Now, the Hebrew word that’s typically translated ‘slave’ is number 05650 in your Strong’s Lexicon.

Here’s the Brown Driver Briggs (BDB Hebrew Lexicon).  It says…

 05620  ebed {eh’ bed}     Meaning: 1) slave, servant 1a) slave, servant, man-servant 1b) subjects 1c: servants, worshippers (of God) 1d) servant (in special sense as prophets, Levites etc) 1e) servant (of Israel) 1f) servant (as form of address between equals) Origin: from 05647; TWOT – 1553a; n m Usage: AV – servant 744, man servant 23, bondman 21, bondage 10, bondservant 1, on all sides 1; 800

So, the word’s translated servant 744 times, man servant 23, bondman 21…

And so, with this word ‘ebed’, the reality is that we’re all servants of some kind. We’re servants of the Most High Elohim…But the question is… to whom are we servants?

The word here…this root, as we can see here, from 05647 the root-meaning, from which we get ‘ebed’ is ‘abad’…which means to work.

5647 ‘abad (aw-bad’)  Meaning: 1) to work, serve 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to labour, work, do work 1a2) to work for another, serve another by abour 1a3) to serve as subjects 1a4) to serve (God) 1a5) to serve (with Levitical service) 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be worded, be tilled (of land) 1b) to make oneself a servant 1c) (Paul) to be worked 1d) (Hiphil) 1d1) to compel to labour or work, cause to labour, cause to serve 1d2) to cause to serve as subjects 1e) (Hophal) to be led or enticed to serve  Origin: a primitive root; TWOT – 1553; v  Usage: AV – serve 227, do 15, till 9, servant 5, work 5, worshippers 5, service 4, dress 2 labour 2, ear 2…

And so, it has to do with working…that’s the word family.

So the word family has a connotation of, just basically, being a worker, or a servant to another person.  Serving another person is not necessarily the worst thing in the world. I mean, in fact, aren’t we all supposed to be servants of one another? Didn’t the Messiah Himself say…

Mat 23:11 -  But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

And again, He said…

Mar 10:44-45And 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 a ransom from many.

 So, I’m giving you these scriptures here as a foundation from which we will define this word ‘slave’.

I’m going to, in some instances, use other terms, like… maid-servant, man-servant, bond-servant, servant… just because, in our English language, this word ‘slave’ has so many negative connotations that go along with it.

And so just to help us all kind of refrain our minds into a biblical world view of what this means, I think it helps when we start using different terms which basically all mean the same thing. As we see, the word translated ‘slave is actually ‘servant’

 So when we look into the scriptures…

Exo 21:1-2Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.

So right away, we see within the society that Yahweh Himself has established, there would be no people enslaving each other, within the nation, for a life time….unless it was the will of that slave to remain in that condition.

Exo 21:3-4If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her masters, and he shall go out by himself.

Now, to some people it may seem quite cruel, that the slave owner is able to keep the sons and daughters of the slave. But a slave, if he decided to take a wife from his master, he would know full well this would be the arrangement…if he was going to be set free later. And so, he would choose to take the wife based on that very possibility. So he would already know, by that point, whether he was going to end up leaving or if he was going to end up staying.

He knew if he was going to have to leave her, or children would come up…he would know what would be happening. So it’s not like it gets sprung on him, (…he’s wanting to leave and his master says, ‘No, you’ve got to leave your children here…they’re all slaves, too’). Because you see, the wife would have been a slave, also.

Now, it would be different if she was an Israelite slave. If she was an Israelite slave she would have been set free also, at the end of six years. We’re talking about, in this case right here, this would be referring to a slave that would be a foreigner. And I’ll explain here in a minute why there’s a difference. Because when we look in…

Deu 15:12-14 If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman,

He makes the same rule for both…

…is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.

So, whether that is a woman or a man they still were able to get freedom.

 And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you with, you shall give to him.

So we see here… we’re seeing a distinction between a Hebrew slave (we see that in Exodus 21, also) and a foreign slave. We see this in…

 Lev 25:44-45And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property.

Lev 25:46And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.

In other words, they had to be set free after 6 years.

Now, why would Yahweh allow there to be a difference between an Israelite slave and a non-Israelite slave? Is He a respecter of persons? Does He favor the race of one people over another people?

Now, I want to remind everyone, everything Yahweh commands has love as its goal…everything. And that would include this; because it hangs on one of the two great commands.

Yahushua said, in response to the question…

Matt 22:36-40“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law:” Yahushua said to him, “’You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hand all the Law and the Prophets.”

So, what He says next is, on these two commandments hang…parts of the law? Everything except for the slavery commands? No. All the Law and Prophets hang off the two great commands …’love Yahweh’ and ‘love your neighbor’.

Now realizing this, and accepting this, helps us to understand that every precept given in Yahweh’s law does have love as its goal.

If we don’t see it that way, then there’s something somewhere that we are not seeing correctly…because every command in the bible has love as its goal.

So the question is asked, “How could this be something that Yahweh command, and still be love?” How would that be possible?

You know, I told my daughters this week…I said, “Open the bible to any page…pick one. And point to any verse you want, and we’ll read it in context, and I will explain to you the reason why that verse is teaching us about love.”  And they took me up on that several times.

But we need to understand that even atheists justify their atheism; skeptics justify their skepticism…by pointing to certain bible verses and saying that that’s immoral. And many of them view themselves, as atheists, as being on higher moral ground than that which is outlined in scripture. Of course, they’re wrong.

But we need to…

1Pet 3:15But sanctify Yahweh Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

And so, I will extend this challenge actually, to any listener of the broadcast today. Show me one verse, that you think may not be about love, and we will look at it together and with Yahweh’s help, I’ll try to give a defense, because there is a hope within me…just as there is a hope in all of you who call upon Yahweh. And we need to be able to give a defense.

The term ‘slavery’ has been slandered…has been re-defined by American history and the history of other nations. How is this love?…Where we see a difference between Hebrew slaves and foreign slaves? Hebrew slaves are set free after six years, foreign slaves are not.

Well, one thing we have to understand is that, in ancient times, a person’s national heritage, their tribe…the family they belonged to… had a tremendous impact on which deity they chose to worship. There was a lot of family pride involved in that deity that they chose.

And so, if a foreign slave were set free after six years, what would be the ramifications of that?

Well first of all, these individuals, being empowered and emboldened would go out would and corrupt Israel society as a whole, in turning them to the worship of idols…because evil company corrupts good habits.

But secondly, if a foreign slave knew… this wasn’t going to be his permanent home for the rest of his life… if he knew that was not going to be his permanent home, he would just kind of sit back and bide his time, you know, chomping the bit…and go out, and would cleave to his god that he worshipped.

But if he knew this Israelite home is going to be his permanent home for the rest of his life, it would be far more likely that he would attach himself to the Israelite family, and would thus be compelled to worship and serve the true Creator…Yahweh.

But if they just saw their time in a six year temporary measure, they might be more inclined to just remain attached to their family, and return back to whatever their family was, and harden their hearts toward the Elohim of Israel.

And furthermore, he might even see that six years as an opportunity to turn other members of the Israelite household away from Yahweh, and towards the idols that their heathen family had worshipped. Evil company corrupts good habits.

And so, in my mind… it had nothing to do with racism, with favoritism, or Yahweh being a respecter of persons; it had everything to do with love. Because Yahweh is the only true Elohim, and there is no other. He is the creator of all men, whether slave or free. And his goal is that He would turn the hearts of all men…whether Israelite or non-Israelite…back to Him, again. And so it’s His ways of love.

And so, for Him to allow Israel to take foreign slaves - that’s a good way, actually, to guide the people of those foreign nations back to the Creator, and thereby saving more souls and introducing them to a more loving standard. …That standard which is found in the Torah….of sexual purity; of righteous judgment and these things

 But for Him to allow Israel to keep the slaves for a life-time, would ensure that Israelite society would not be corrupted by the influence of idol worshipping nations…because evil company corrupts good habits.

So, I still see that as a way of love. We were all, in fact… if we were Gentile…haven’t we all been grafted into another family?  Haven’t we all been (we shared this last week) grafted into the olive tree, being the seed of Abraham? Haven’t we said I am no longer Gentile, now I am Israel? Well, this was an opportunity for those nations (the people of those nations) to do the same.

So, if they’re already on the slave market, they’re going to be sold to somebody. Why not allow that to be Israel? ...To introduce them to the Israelite ways and to where they will be far more likely to become worshippers of Yahweh, the true Creator.

Now, there’s nothing to prohibit an Israelite man, whether they’re a foreigner or whatever… nothing to prohibit them from setting that slave free at any time.

And so, if a righteous Israelite had a slave that had given his life over to the worship of Yahweh, and he showed some consistency in that, certainly he could let the person go free. And I think that would be a holy and good thing to do… as long as they were not wanting to return back to their homeland and get corrupted again.

We’re going to continue now in…

Exo 21:4-6If 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. But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free, 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.

So we see the slave had the option of remaining in the household of his master. This would obviously be referring to the instance where the wife was given to him…was a foreigner, because the Hebrew slaves were allowed to be set free after six years, just as the men were…so he’s not talking about him having to leave a Hebrew wife behind.

 And we see this again in the book of Deuteronomy…

Deu 15:12-14If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed;

And so again, don’t send him away empty-handed. 

…you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you with, you shall give to him.

And so we see that principle very clearly. I want to make sure we’ve got that completely.  It goes on to say…

Deu 15:15-17You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Elohim redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today. And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you, because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise.  

Deu 15:18It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you; for he has been worth a double hired servant in serving you six years. Then Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all that you do.

And so we see that even slaves could prosper. As we see here he says, ‘…he prospers with you.’ He gets the blessing, if the household becomes a wealthy household, very prosperous; the slave’s going to receive the benefits of that, too. So, just like Joseph when he was a slave to Potipher.

So…now we might wonder why a person would want to be a slave forever. That goes to show slaves didn’t have it all that bad, they had a day of rest every seven days; they can rest on the seven annual Holy Days; they would attend the festivals like the rest of the family…it would be somewhat like an adoption...where the slave becomes a member of the family. - In fact, Abraham…

Gen 15:1-2After these things the word of Yahweh came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceeding great reward.” But Abram said, “Master Yahweh, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus:”

We see that Abraham was even willing to give his inheritance to one of his slaves. That wasn’t completely unheard of…especially if the man had no sons or daughters.  

So, we need to kind of refrain our minds a little bit and allow the biblical view of being a servant, a bond servant, or a slave or whatever you want to call it…(‘ebed’ in Hebrew)…but we need to refrain our minds into what Yahweh was allowing, what he was regulating in Israel. …That being far more biblical, and even less oppressive than a lot of what we see going on today.

Exo 21:7And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.

Oh. Doesn’t get to be free? Now, if we just stopped at that verse and did not continue reading, it might seem like a contradiction…’cause earlier we read the women Hebrew slave would get to go free.

We might be inclined to even be appalled at the idea of a man selling his daughter to be a female slave. But we’re going to keep reading. Context, context, context…

Exo 21:7-9And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 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. And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the customer of daughters.

Ex 21:10-11 – If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money.

now, this verse… these verses here, are referring to a person who has sold their daughter as a slave to another person with the understanding that they were going to be married. A betrothal is involved. …Either a betrothal to the person that he sold to or, a betrothal to the man’s son.

This was the reason she was not to be set free after seven years, like a male slave would. There would be a betrothal involved here. There would be a marriage involved.

Now, the kind of marriage that existed here was a little different than a typical marriage where…this kind of marriage, from what I can gather in the scriptures, would be where she would become what’s called a concubine.

Now the concubines would not receive the social status that a wife would. But as we can see, as we read here, Yahweh commanded that her needs would be met along with full marriage rights. Now, if the man did not do these for her, giving her full marriage rights…food and clothing, and this has to do with co-habitation… then she was allowed to be set free from that. But he did not...you know, the man (the father) did not have to sell his daughter to the other person with the intent of marriage. He could allow his daughter to be a hand-maiden, and then she would be released after six years.

So, I’m sure any loving father would say, “I have no choice. I have to sell everything.” And we’re going to see incidences where that would have had to take place. “Would you rather be married to the person?” And let the daughter give her input…”They want to marry you.”

And that would be, you know, a daughter’s choice, and I’m sure that’s something that they would discuss, if he’s righteous… They’re suppose to be righteous. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. (Leviticus 19:18)

 So, it’s all about… it’s still about love. But the man, for some reason, had some purpose in which he would have to do such a thing. And we see an instance like this actually in the New Testament…

Mat 18:23-25Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.

Now, satisfaction of debt was probably one of the most common reasons for slavery when it comes down to Israelites being sold to one another. You have a debt, you have nothing to pay… the only thing you can offer is your labor. And it makes sense.

Alright, now we see this in detail in…

Lev 25:35-37 If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your Elohim, that your brother may live with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.

Lev 25:38-40I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your Elohim. And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee.

Lev 25:41-43And then he shall depart from you—he and his children with him—and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. You shall not rule over them with rigor, but you shall fear your Elohim.

and it goes on to say…

Lev 25:44-45 – And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property.

Lev 25:46-47And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor. Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the strangers family,

Lev 25:48-50 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family m ay redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him.

Lev 25:51-53If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight.

Lev 25:54-1And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee—he and his children with him. For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

So this is how Yahweh regulated slavery in Israel.

Now today, we have a different system in place. Today we have a credit-based system which does have its problems, and is actually not sustainable.  And we’re seeing that in our nation today. It’s not sustainable. The rich get richer until they own everything and they control everything.

And we see this, in our credit-based system. First of all, it…

 

Worldly Credit-Based System

But could it be possible that Yahweh’s system that He established in Israel is actually superior to this? I think it is. Here’s why…

 

Servant-Based System

 So, their idea… Yahweh’s idea of what slavery was to be… was to just treat the man like a hired servant. He works for you… not much different than you working for Wal-Mart. And for many people, they will tell you… that’s slavery.

 

Servant-Based System

There’s not going to be bands of homeless people running around looking for hand-outs… not wanting to work. There wouldn’t be welfare states...people collecting checks for doing nothing. The poor man would actually have to work.

And so, we have a society where people all… everybody’s working. There’s no long unemployment lines…we have everybody working. If for some reason you can’t find a job, or whatever, you’re not allowed to be sold to a foreign nation. That’s against Torah. You would be sold either to another person within the nation, or whatever. And furthermore…

servant-Based System

They were commanded – Leviticus 25:35 -take in your brother into your house. I think a lot of people that are mentally ill of homeless…homelessness creates a mental condition. That in and of itself, if you’re not being productive...you don’t feel like you’re worth anything... that causes all kind of mental problems. So then we have, instead of the state stepping in, we have…

What do we have today...class warfare and corruption….to where now, if the bank was to fail, the whole nation would sink.

That’s what happened four years ago in late 2008… the bank failures due to their responsibility, and their foolish decisions. Who had to bear the brunt of that? Other people… had to bail them out. Why? Why did other people have to bail out the banks? ...Because if the bank failed the whole economy would go down the tubes.

So, we see the end result of our credit-based system, and the welfare state that has been created. Whereas, what we have in Israel is individuals being responsible for each other, rather than just passing them off to a nanny state… which is nothing more than socialism.

So, I really believe, in spite of what other people may feel about being servants, that it’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a good catch-all to keep everybody in society productive and efficient.

Now, on this last point about debts being cancelled, it says here…

 Deu 15:1-2At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother because it is called Yahweh’s release.

Deu 15:3-5Of a foreigner you may require it; but you shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother, except when there may be no poor among you; for Yahweh will greatly bless you in the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you to possess as an inheritance—only if you carefully obey the voice of Yahweh your Elohim, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today.

He gave them opportunity to never be poor…never be poor among them. If they would follow the law that He gave, there wouldn’t even be any poor, because Yahweh would bless them. It says…

Deut 15:6-8 - For Yahweh your Elohim will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you. If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which Yahweh your Elohim is given you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open you hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.

That’s a command.

Deu 15:9-10Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to Yahweh against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.

Yahweh didn’t want there to be any poor. He had many catch-alls. He had the kindness of people in the nation, and if that wasn’t’ enough they could go and work for a person for up to seven years.

Deu 15:11For the poor will never cease from the land; (He knew they would not obey the commands) therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’

So Yahweh demands that the poor would be taken care of.

But, besides these things, there was also the tithes that would be used for the poor. The corners of the filed were to be left un-harvested so that the poor could glean, and take from that. And many other provisions Yahweh instituted. If you left a sheaf back there, you don’t go back and pick it up; let it lay there…let it be for the fatherless, the widow, the poor.

So they felt…you know, Yahweh established an awesome system in Israel...to prevent oppression; to prevent the rich from getting richer and the poor from getting poorer.

And so, Yahweh wanted to prevent a person from becoming so poor that they needed to sell themselves, but if they did need to sell themselves, they were supposed to be treated with dignity and respect…just like any hired person.

So, we cannot think of slavery in the same way as Americans did slavery. We need to think of it in biblical terms. Because listen, the reality is every man, woman, child on the face of this earth is born into slavery. I’ll say it again. Every man woman and child on this earth is born into slavery.

We are born into slavery because we have parents that were born into slavery. What kind of slavery am I talking about? Yahushua said…

Joh 8:34 Yahushua answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

We have parents going all the way back to Adam and Eve, who sold themselves to commit sin. And we’ve done the same. It’s for that reason that we need a redeemer. We need a redeemer to buy us out of slavery and bring us back to our Father’s house.

Tit 2:11-13For the grace of Elohim that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly (reverently) in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great Elohim and Savior Yahushua Messiah,  

Tit 2:14-15who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

So we have been redeemed… and the redemption price was very costly.

1Pe 1:17-19 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

So we know the price Messiah paid. We ought to be inspired to conduct ourselves in such a way…to show ourselves to be a people who have been redeemed…who are not enslaved to sin; rather than a people who are still in bondage to it.

Rom 6:16-18Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

You’re a slave no matter what…you can’t get out of it.     

But Elohim be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

You are a slave. So am I…. one or the other.

Now one reason I think Yahweh allowed slavery in Israel is that, through this Israel would understand the slavery of sin, and more importantly, the power of a redeemer.

And now that we have been purchased by the precious blood of the Messiah, we are debtors. The scripture says… we are debtors.

Rom 8:12-14Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh  you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

So we are debtors… to walk in the Spirit. 

For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.

We have taken on a different identity. We now identify ourselves with Messiah. And we, just like Israel, were in slavery to another king…to Pharaoh. Only we are in slavery to Satan, the enemy. It’s no different, because Pharaoh was being led by Satan, the enemy.

The task masters put the children of Israel in hard labor. We also served Satan... who is a ruthless leader, who seeks to put us in bondage with much rigor. Oh, we may have had the leeks and onions of Egypt… but oh, the price we paid.

Israel was redeemed by the blood of the Passover Lamb; and delivered from the power of death; baptized in the sea of Reeds, in water, and the cloud…the Holy Spirit. …And led into freedom. The way of love that the law teaches; the way that is contrary to the ways of the world. And so are we.

We are redeemed by Messiah, our Passover, who was sacrificed for us.  So we need to purge out the leavening... the sin. We are redeemed. We are not slaves to it anymore. And we, just like them, are baptized. It says…

1Co 10:1-3Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food,

…So, they were baptized and we were baptized…in the water and in the Spirit.

1 Co 10:4-5and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Messiah.

So, we are experiencing what they experienced. And look what he says here...

…But with most of them Elohim was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

1Co 10:6- Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

See, they were redeemed from slavery. But they continued their Egyptian ways. They wanted to go back to Egypt.

Num 11:5-6“We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”

And eventually, they decided they wanted to select for themselves a captain and go back to Egypt.

Num 14:3-4“Why has Yahweh brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt:” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

See, their fears were unfounded. Their children weren’t going to become victims. But they were afraid of the giants. They were afraid to endure a little bit of hardship on their journey. The children grew up, actually, to become the generation that inherited the promise land.

Because of the lack of faith in Yahweh’s love…because of the lack of faith and trust in Yahweh, that this generation that left Egypt had… that generation wandered around in the wilderness for forty years. Until death had consumed every single one of them that left Egypt, except for their children under age twenty, and except for Joshua and Caleb.

So, a lesson here is that we would not want to go back to Egypt; that we would not seek the bondages of sin...The slavery to a cruel task master. That we need to remember the cruelty with which the enemy led us. Don’t forget. And the ruthless leader that he was.

And to those that think they can live serving neither Yahweh nor the devil, it’s nothing but a grand scheme of deception by the enemy. Because one of the greatest tricks the enemy has is to fool people into believing he doesn’t exist.

But if we’re trying to live our lives as though we can make it without the Giver of life, as though we could make it on our own, and we don’t need Yahweh…this is exactly what the devil’s trying to do.

He believes that he can have life within himself…as though he can live without the Giver of all life being present. He can’t. If you depart from life and the Giver of life, you’re enslaved to a demonic theology that won’t work.

And so the wages of sin become death…because that’s where it all leads. You depart from life, that’s your fault. You left the Giver of life… and you go back to whatever way of death it will lead you to.

So we have a choice as believers today. Do we want to remain Yahweh’s servants and trust Him? And not living by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of His mouth? Do we appreciate the manna that he provides to us, or do we loathe what we call ‘worthless bread’? And we want to go back to the fish and onions and material possessions of Egypt, all the while forgetting the bondage that we were in.

Now, there are other ways to be enslaved, even as believers. It says…

Pro 22:7The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

The word translated servant here, again, is ‘ebed’.

Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another,

If you don’t owe anyone anything, then you can’t be enslaved to them.  

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

So, the only thing we’re going to owe, is that we would love. And that does include serving.

But, if you own anyone money you become a servant to that person. Now, the Hebrew word again is ‘ebed’. So, if we needlessly go into debt, then we are placing ourselves under another person’s power, and that can be very unwise.

The scripture says not to owe anyone anything. Now, I know myself, there was a time I was completely debt-free. But, at the moment I’m not. I’m seeking to be debt-free. I don’t want to be brought under the power of any, or be enslaved to any man…but I’m not in that position right now.

Now, if you’re new to this walk or to faith in general, and you have a pile of debt…I mean, don’t worry too much about it. You’re not sinning…but as a believer, like myself who was once free but then got caught up in it again, I have no excuse.

Now, scripture says…

 ICo 7:20-21Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. Were you called while a slave: Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it.

1Co 7:22-23For he who is called in Yahweh while a slave is Yahweh’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Messiah’s slave.

We’re still slaves. Only now, we’re Messiah’s slaves.

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

Do not become slaves of men. Now if the borrower is servant to the lender, and the slave of the lender, then that would tell me for us to borrow is to become a slave of men….and we’re told not to do that.

Now, I realize he’s talking specifically of those who are slaves living under another man’s authority, under another man’s household here… but wouldn’t the principals teach us that we as believers need to realize that we were bough with a price …which is Messiah’s blood? And to avoid becoming slaves of men at all costs? I would think so.

Don’t we want the freedom to be bondservants of the Messiah and be completely under His yoke… unhindered… by the ways of men? I think so.

And that’s one reason why I don’t think we should intentionally join the military. Beside the danger of being involved in unjust wars, being placed in the position that it’s impossible to observe the Sabbath, or other commandments, we also become slaves.

In fact, if you are a member of the military, and someone intentionally injures you, they can be charged with damaging government property. It’s true. Look it up. Check the facts on that. They can be charged with damaging government property because they hurt you…if you’re a member of the military. Or, if you choose to hurt yourself…that could also be charged.

So, anyone who would want to join the military becomes slaves, because you do become the property of the federal government. Yes, you intentionally went, you purposely went; you chose it…that’s what you wanted.

So, whether you realize it or not, slavery is alive and well in the United States of America. There are tons and tons of banks who are masters over those whom they lend; and there’s people in the military who are under the ownership of the government.

Now, notice it says here that when we’re free, we’re still Messiah’s slave. That means everyone in the world is a slave…whether we’re a slave to sin or a slave to Messiah….a slave to righteousness. It takes some humility to acknowledge that. But we are under Messiah’s authority. We are part of His household. In fact, we are part of His body

Gal 1:10For do I now persuade men, or Elohim? Or do I seek to please men: For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Messiah.

He called himself a bond-servant.

1 Pe 2:15-16For this is the will of Elohim, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of Elohim.

Here it is again… Paul calls himself a bondservant of Yahushua. In Romans 1:1 …that’s how he referred to himself – a bond servant.

Simon Peter…what did he call himself – a bondservant and apostle of Yahushua the Messiah…in the opening to his letter.

And then Jude, calls himself in Jud 1:1 - a bondservant of Yahushua Messiah, and brother of James…

So, this is what people called themselves. They called themselves Yahweh’s slaves…Messiah’s slaves.  And even the Old Testament. It says…

Psa 116:16-17O Yahweh, truly I am You servant; I am Your servant,

That’s ‘ebed’…right there.

The son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds.

That’s the bondage of sin… they experienced it, too. They experienced the freedom…

I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of Yahweh.

 

And so, they see themselves as people who have their bonds loosed from sin, and now are slaves of the Most High Elohim…Yahweh.

Do we see ourselves that way? I mean, do we see ourselves as Yahweh’s slaves? If you’re a slave to Yahweh, you have to do what the Master says to do. You don’t have a choice…you’re a slave. And if you’re not going to do it then He will chasten you.

And yes, Yahweh did allow owners to chasten their slaves. What was the alternative? Let them run amok and take over the place? I mean, they had to have some way to prevent them from taking over and trying to usurp authority. That’s how they handled it.

But do we see ourselves as slaves to Messiah? Or do we, like Satan, think we can live our lives like we were our own servants?

You know Mary, the mother of Messiah said in Luke 1:46, when she found out that she would be the mother of the Saviour, she said…

 Luk 1:46-49And Mary said: “My soul magnifies Yahweh, and my spirit has rejoiced in Elohim my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.

She considered herself to be Yahweh’s slave...the “maid servant of Yahweh”. We’re all slaves.

And so, brothers and sisters, the people in times before the Messiah came…they followed the Torah. They saw themselves the same way that we as believers in Messiah should see ourselves. In fact, slavery continued into New Testament times, and never was condemned. And we see in…

Eph 6:5-7Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Messiah; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Messiah, doing the will of Elohim for the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to Yahweh, and not to men,

Don’t even look at yourself as being a slave to man. Look at yourself as being a bond-servant of Messiah.

Col 3:22-24Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing Elohim. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to Yahweh and not to men, knowing that from Yahweh you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve Yahweh Messiah. (Master Messiah)

…It should not be Yahweh there.

1 Ti 6:1-2Let as man bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of Elohim and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.

…even between believers!

Col 4:1Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

And actually, the book of Philemon is all about Paul who took in an escaped slave and converted him to be a believer, and appeals to the slave’s master to take him back again as a brother. But in spite of these verses here in the New Testament, for some reason, those who see the scriptures on slavery in the Old Testament…view that as old, antiquated law…it’s out of date and an old idea that failed…and only pertaining to that culture, and now we have this New Testament to save us from the burden the law put on people.

But, you know that’s not true. It’s not true.

And this is an arrogant way of looking at the bible…to suggest that Yahweh would somehow not be able to stop the slavery. That He somehow is weak. But He had a perfect opportunity to end it because Israel was just slaves themselves.

We have this national pride issue… I shared about earlier. Gentiles could not let go of their heritage, and feeling their own superiority over the Jewish people, brought in their own standards, their own ways, their own culture…In some cases their own Holy days, their own Sabbaths, their own Grecianized, Gentilized Messiah (if there is such a word) into their lives. And today, I mean, people are so Grecianized…they don’t even know that they’re Greekized…or Gentilized…and in cases, don’t care.

But we do care. We want to take on Messiah’s identity…becoming slaves of Messiah, and becoming a part of His body. The Israelites had a choice, as to whether they wanted Egypt…the yoke of men...or Yahweh’s yoke.

They wanted the Egyptianized elohim. That allowed fornications, allowed idolatries, allowed for other sins that Yahweh would forbid. And we see the same thing happening today.

People want their own heritage. They want pagan-rooted holidays; pagan-rooted days of worship; and basically…pagan Messiah. One is more carrying on the character traits of a gentile, more so than a Jew. Because national pride…weren’t wanting to let go of their own identity and whatever gentile nation they were …and cleaving to Israel and becoming grafted in to the olive tree of Israel.

So, what about us? Do we want Yahweh’s yoke, or do we want the yoke of the world? The wages it pays is death. But to those who turn away from Egypt…from your own Egypt…there’s the gift of eternal life.

Rom 6:20-23For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of Elohim, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of Elohim is eternal life in Messiah Yahushua or Master.

…Lovely.

Slavery to sin pays a horrific wage, brothers. The only wage it offers is the wage of death. But Yahweh offers us the gift of eternal life, along with rewards.

Heb 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Elohim must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Do you buy that? You got to believe it. You got to believe He’s a rewarder. He’s not just giving us eternal life, He’s giving us something else. And the word translated rewarder is.

 

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

-       3406 misthapodotes (mis-thap-od-ot’-ace)

-       Meaning: 1) one who pays wages, a rewarder

-       Origin: from 3409 amd 591; TDNT – 4:695,599 n m

-       Usage: AV – rewarder 1;1

 We’re working for Yahweh right now. We’re His slaves. We’re working for Him. And He’s paying wages to the ones that diligently seek Him. It takes faith to believe and to focus on the future rewards we have in the age to come. That’s when we get paid. That’s the spiritual riches.

The scripture says…

Mat 16:27“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

And that word, again…

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

-        591 apodidomi {ap-od-eed’-o’mee}

-       Meaning: 1) to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell 2) to pay off, discharge what is due 2a) a debt, wages, tribute, taxes, produce due 2b) things promised under oath 2c) conjugal duty 2d) to render account 3) to give back, restore 4) to requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense

-       Origin: from 575 and 1325; TDNT – 2:167,166; v

-       Usage: AV – pay 9, give 9, render 9, reward 7, sell 3, yield 2, misc 9;

And so, Yahweh wants to pay us when He comes back. But a major problem is… sometimes the body of Messiah doesn’t value being Messiah’s slaves.

We think of slavery as a negative thing. We don’t value the reward that may come...not may come but will come… if we choose to work for Him. Like Laodicea, we have a tendency to be so satisfied with the leeks and onions of Egypt that we don’t value the spiritual treasures. And we don’t value it because we say, “Oh, we have need of nothing”.

We’ve got to be very careful about that mindset. Like I shared last week, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob. He did not value the spiritual treasure that would have been his if he had that birthright.  

If we really understood would Yahweh had in store for us, we would leap for joy when we are reproached…as the scripture says. And we realize though, if Yahweh pays us wages…

I mean, imagine this…You might get paid at work, you might get a little money or check and be able to spend it on something, but imagine what Yahweh could give for reward…for payment. You couldn’t even compare.

And so, are we seeking those greater rewards? What is it that He wants us to do as we work for the Heavenly wages? What’s He want you to do?

He’s wanting you to do one thing that He does all the time…and that’s serve. Because loving is serving, and serving is loving. A man who would be a slave would be a man who is being expected to love that person by serving him.

Now, Yahushua said, ‘Freely you have received, freely give’. Give of yourself without expecting anything in return. That’s what a slave does. He gives of himself.

He’s calling us to that service already, brothers. He’s calling you and I to be joined to His military…the Heavenly army. …To become slaves of Him. To become…He wants to be our owner. We’re a slave of one thing or the other, and we’ll receive wages for our service. We will. In fact, the one that serves the most will become the greatest, as we shared earlier…

 Mat 23:11- “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Yahushua the Messiah was the greatest servant that ever lived…the best slave there was; the same word in Hebrew…’ebed’. Therefore, all power and authority is given to Him in heaven and earth. He received a great reward. It was for that reward he endured the suffering. …And if we’re willing to endure…

Luk 12:37Blessed are those servants who the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.

He will serve us in the age to come. Serving isn’t just something we’re called to do in this age. Again, serving is loving. As we love, we will serve. And who you serve shows who you love.

If you spend most of your time serving yourself, then…your own interests…then, it’s yourself that you’re loving…not Yahweh.

If you spend most of your time serving others, it is others that you love. Serving is the evidence of loving.

You know what, if we have that kind of serving attitude from a loving heart, we’re not offended by slavery. We’re all going to end up getting served, actually.  If I’m serving you and you’re serving me, and we’re all serving each other…we’re all getting served, aren’t we? Isn’t that a wonderful way to live our lives? Halleluyah!

And if we could just grasp that fully, we would be the most powerful…. the body of Messiah would be the most powerful force for good that exists on the face of the earth.

It’s mans efforts to avoid serving that is a major problem…self-centeredness. Become a slave to self….you become a slave to sin, anyway, and departs from the Giver of life and receives the wages therein at the end of the age.

Why don’t we seek to be wiling servants? …Willing bondservants to the Messiah and to one another? For, if we serve each other, it’s the Messiah that we’re serving anyway. Isn’t it? Didn’t He say…

Mat 25:40“and the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

I think it’s time that we all start caring more, and flee from this world’s mindset of what servant-hood really is, and be willing to turn away from just pleasing ourselves. Instead, seek to please Yahweh and bless one another. It is in doing so, that the Messiah’s life is truly manifested on the earth.

You know what? That very thing should be the hallmark… Didn’t it say in scripture, ‘you will know they are my disciples by their love for one another’? That is a group of people who are always about serving. Serving one another, and serving those who are in need.  

And to me, that is the most blessed way we could live. Isn’t that a more excellent way?

So as we seek that blessed way to live, brothers and sisters, may Yahweh bless you and may Yahweh truly have mercy on us all.