If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. (Exodus 21:2)
As I shared yesterday, the Hebrew word translated as “servant” is more literally “bondservant.” This is not a slave in the way that most presume; it was someone who, of their own choosing, were committed to serve their master for all of their life because they loved him. So it is noteworthy that this term is used on several occasions in the Scripture and is one that Paul was prone to use many times when speaking of himself. For example, in his letter to the Romans he began with the statement, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1).
Again, the Hebrew word is eved and, interestingly, comes from the same root word that is translated in Genesis 2:15 as “tend” or “work.” This was the word used to describe what Adam was to do in the garden, implying that Adam’s work in the garden was much more than what meets the eye. It may, in fact, hint at the notion that Adam was created that he might serve the Almighty as a “bondservant.” If that is so, then from the beginning, God has desired that His people serve Him, not exclusively from fear, but because they love Him and wish to please Him.
As is always the case, God never asks us to do something that He isn’t willing to do Himself and the laws of the bondservant are no exception. I say that because Messiah came demonstrating that He was serving the Father’s will in the role of a bondservant. Paul said that Messiah:
“Being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:6-7)
The point, then, is that we are those God is speaking to through the laws of the bondservant. He is challenging us to serve Him wholeheartedly and for the rest of our lives as we follow the example of the Messiah. Like so many others before us, He calls upon us to advance His Kingdom by willingly working in His field as His servants. So then let us demonstrate that love and devotion by walking in obedience to Him. Let us, along with Paul and others, consider ourselves as bondservants of Yeshua Messiah.
Blessings and Shalom,