Father, You are a just God who loves all his people. Help me to understand Your love as I read Your Word today.
Read Exodus 21:1-11
 “These are the laws you are to set before them:  “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.  If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him.  If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.  “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’  then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.  “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do.  If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.  If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.  If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.  If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are these rules about? Do they seem relevant to us?
At first this reads like the beginning of a list of laws for everyday life. And you might be tempted to go off on vacation and leave the law stuff at home! But read this, remembering that it reflects the fact that God rescued the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt. Just as the master chose the slave (8), God chose Israel and therefore is faithful to her. Integrity and fairness is paramount (9-11). God wants the Israelites to live with integrity and reflect the covenant he has made with them in the way they do everything. As the director of a small business that’s trying to be Christian in the way we operate, we are trying to find ways of making our pay structure match our values and ethics. It’s not an easy task! You may not agree with biblical slavery–but that was the context in which God’s people were living. They still needed to find a way of navigating that with integrity and fairness, and in a way that reflected God’s covenant. You may not agree with the work culture in which you live. What does living with integrity and fairness mean for the way you work, bank, shop and eat? God is interested in every aspect of your life.
As you go through life today, think about those who have no freedoms like yours. Pray that they may possess your type of freedom.
Father in heaven, give me the eyes to see injustice and the heart to stand up against it. Let me be determined to make a difference.
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