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If 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. (Deuteronomy 15:12)

In keeping with the theme of release, Moses reiterates the laws regarding an עבד eved or “bondservant” (see also Exodus 21). This person is not a hireling but was bonded to the master for a term of six years. But in the seventh, as it is written, they were released. As we continue reading, we also see that when they were released, they were not sent away empty-handed; they were to be supplied with foodstuffs whereby they could sustain themselves and, in theory, begin their new life with ample resources.

In this vein of thought, God reminded Israel that they had once been slaves in Egypt and, therefore, should be more considerate than Pharaoh was of them. Their Master, the God of Israel, redeemed them from their plight and brought them out of Egypt with flocks, herds, gold and silver — they did not leave empty-handed. Therefore, the servant’s master was to do for his servant what God had done for Israel. This demonstration of compassion and generosity is a characteristic of a “holy nation” striving to to emulate a “holy God.”

Once again we are reminded that, as followers of Messiah, more is expected of us than what we will see demonstrated by the world. The world is “cut throat” and out to take care of themselves at everyone else’s expense if need be. God’s people are to prefer our brother over ourselves and to give above and beyond what the average person would do. Remember, “No one can serve two masters … You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). So then, as loyal bondservants, let us strive to be holy even as He is holy. Let us willingly give Him all of our heart and, when called upon, generously give of ourselves to our brothers and sisters in the LORD.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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