August 22, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I had never read Exodus 21:2 through 6 with much understanding and application to Christians today. But last Friday at Patterson Grove Campmeeting, Pastor Wayne Ayers opened this passage up to the two hundred people attending and showed us how practical this scripture about servants and masters is to us today! Here are these five verses from Exodus 21:
If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he
shall go out free and pay nothing. 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. 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 him-
self. But if the servant plainly says, “I love my master, my wife, and my
children; I will not go out free,” 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.
Too many Christians are six-year servants! Or maybe they are six-month or six-day servants! What do I mean? Well, I have met too many people who have made a commitment to Jesus Christ – coming to Him as Savior, excited to respond to an invitation to have their sins washed away by His blood – but they don’t grow and mature, serving the Lord only for awhile before dropping off from closely following Him. It seems like they responded in an emotional high! They are referred to in the New Testament as carnal Christians and babes in Christ (I Corinthians 3:1), living in the flesh (I Peter 4:2), and according to the world (Ephesians 2:2). We are told in Ephesians 4:13 and 15 (NIV), to strive to…
…reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become
mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ…in all things
grow[ing] up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
In other words, we are to serve Him forever! Why?
Look at verse 5 of our scripture: “But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ ” Over the six years of his mandatory service, he has grown to love his master, to the extent that he does not want to go out free, but wants to continue to serve “…forever…” (Exodus 21:6), the one whom he has come to love!
Why has he come to love his master so? It is because the master has given him so much! Look at verse 4: “…his master has given him a wife….” Yes, I know that some men look askew upon such a gift! But Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” When your mate is a gift from the Lord, your Master – and you treat that one as such a treasured gift – truly you obtain favor from the Lord ! Besides Jesus Christ, my wife is my greatest gift from God, and I treasure her! And, look! This servant has children by the master’s gift of a wife! It is written in Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” So this man looks at all his master has given him, and he says, “I love my master…”! And what is the main reason why he loves his master? Because his master loves him, and has shown that love by his treatment of the servant!
Consider what it says in Psalm 68:19: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! ” Have you lately considered the benefits – the gifts – which the Lord daily loads upon us, His children? King David – after receiving the Israelites’ offering for the new temple to be built at Jerusalem – exclaimed in his prayer recorded in I Chronicles 29:13 and 14:
Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But
who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly
as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.
All things come from You, my Lord and Master! And the greatest gift is emphasized in the last part of Psalm 68:19: “…the God of our salvation!” Jesus Christ is God’s gift of salvation to us – the greatest gift that could ever be given! O how our Master loves us!!!
And Monday, we will explore some of the benefits which God daily loads upon us through Him.