The beginning of 2009, I was led to study the Bible in a new way (to me). I have been writing down the Scriptures (starting at the Genesis 1), Word for Word, and studying as the Lord leads and time allows. This has been such a MAJOR blessing to me! God has revealed so many new, interesting and exciting things from His Word, that I always want to share. I haven't had time to blog, sooo ... I am going to attempt to marry blogging with my morning study. I hope I can, in some way, impart my blessings to you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Leviticus 26:4a ~ Then ... Rain in Due Season ~ Reciprocity: Part Three

Good Morning, fellow seekers of GOD!  During this "holiday" season, the highways are crowded and rushed.  Fret not, there is always plenty of room in the narrow way!  Here we will find peace and joy ... in all seasons!  Especially during these busy days, we relish the time that we take to stop, sit and sup with our LORD.  Oh, I like that!  Triple S ~ Stop Sit Sup.  Don't you just love how the Lord shows you stuff, while your are in His Presence??  Bless His heart!

You are welcome to taste this wonderful manna, His Living Word with us.  The LORD has such a beautiful feast prepared for those that love Him!
 
At our last meal, we shared Leviticus 26:3 click here: to review.  Basically, our Father laid the foundation for His principle of reciprocity (responding to a positive action with another positive action).  He told us, exactly, what positive actions He wants us to take.  He gave us three action words: walk, keep and do ... which led to some serious introspection!

Now, that we have had time to digest the richness of Leviticus 26:3; we are ready to sample the blessings that the LORD our God is about to spread before us.  He has set the table with His conditions.  Now, based upon our freewill choice to meet those conditions ... GOD is going to tell us, specifically, how He will respond!  God's principle of reciprocity in action!  Wow, oh wow!  What a privilege it is, to be a child of the Almighty GOD!

Please, come in, as we stop, sit and sup (Triple S) on this Morning's Measure of Manna (Triple M).  Too many acronyms ... yes?  Ahhh ... but good things do come in threes!  *smile*

IF you walk in My statutes, keep My commandments and do them (Leviticus 26:3) ...

THE FIRST OF GOD'S CONDITIONAL BLESSINGS:

LEVITICUS 26:4a ~ "Then I will give you rain in due season ... "
 
"Then I will give you rain in due season. " 

God never fails to keep His promises!  The Almighty God that we serve cannot lie!  See: Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 6:18(b).  Thankfully, God is not like me (whew!), or you, or any other being.  We have good intentions; yet we often fail to follow through with our promises. (ugh)

When  The LORD says, "I will" ... we can count on it ... He will Nothing in this life, is as sure as that!  Sidenote: Apologetics Press has an in depth and reassuring expository on this subject:  here.

God, our Creator, gives to us ... not because we deserve it, nor because we earn it (we absolutely cannot) ... but, simply  because He loves us SO much!  He manifests His love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ, through His Holy Spirit, through nature, and even through you and I.  It is so humbling to really think about how personal His love is towards us .... humbling and quite overwhelming.

Just as there are conditions from which flowers grow, so there are conditions from which God's blessings flow!  We, ourselves, cannot make either of these things happen.  We can only follow the instructions we are given, do the best we can, and trust God for the outcome.

Once the conditions are right ... woohoo ... look out for blessings!!

The LORD, in His infinite wisdom, promises to give us rain ... in His appointed time.  Only God knows that time.  We "sheep" (baaa) tend to expect that He should give us the "rain" we ask for, when we ask for it.  Sometimes, it works out that way ... but many times it does not.  We do not and can not know God's ultimate plan.  His ways are not our ways ... His thoughts are SO far above ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).  Hallelujah! 

The LORD is our GODHe created us, He alone, knows what is best for us ... and how to accomplish it!  He says that He will send the rain, when His conditions are met!  That settles it.

Oh, my fellow sheep, we are in the hand of our Shepherd (Psalm 95:7)  He wants us to truly and fully trust Him ... at all times!  I believe that those times when we don't "see" the rain or the provision ... are the times when our trust is being tested.  Yikes, I am already having "test anxiety," just thinking about it.  I SO desire to trust Him completely.  I want to lean fully, with all my weight, on You, Lord; I know You will never fail me.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven ...  He hath made every thing beautiful in His time ..."  Ecclesiastes 3:1 and Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • season: an appointed time, appointed occasion, appropriate time
  • time: after, always, certain, continually, evening, long, due season, so long as
I think of how beautiful a new life is, when it is born in due season.  Not as much, when it is not.
In Due Season

Before Due Season
Fruit and vegetables are never as beautiful, yummy and nutritious, as when they are "in season."  Fire is magnificent when it warms, cooks and cleanses ... as purposed.  Even death can be beautiful  at its appointed time.

The sun is so warm and fun, in the Summer ... the winds carry seeds of new life, in the Spring.  Dying and falling leaves are beautiful, in the Autumn ... as is snow in the Winter.
But outside of GOD;s seasons, each of these things can be not beautiful, at all ... even tragic and terrifying.  Premature births, senselessly caused death, drought, rain out of season, floods, tsunamis, blizzards, hurricanes, tidal waves, tornadoes, premature frost on blossoms, a seed unearthed before its time, fire out of control ... and the list goes on endlessly.

When those showers do come, in His appointed time, (not ours) we know it in our "knower" ... we feel it in the core of our being ... they are obviously a gift of God!  Gratitude and love for our Maker gushes out, like a fountain, as we point to the Source of our blessing and provision.  His glory is obvious over all the circumstances ... many see, take note, and look toward God.  In God's eyes it is the perfect time, place and purpose.

We need to learn to see as our Father sees ... when the rain hasn't  come ... yet.  Will I trust Him and act on my belief that His provision IS on the way???  I pray so.

Boy, I surely needed this lesson!  It is so easy to get discouraged and disgruntled, when we don't "see" our rain coming.  *Gasp,* I believe that I actually get impatient with God! 

Oh Lord, please forgive me.  Help us all to follow Your instructions for the conditions that You have laid before us.  Your time and Your way is always perfect, we do trust YouLORD GOD of heaven and earth, shut out the voices of doubt that whisper to us.  Let us hear only Your voice.  Draw us into Your Word; equip us with the Truth, to come against the lies that we are bombarded with.  Thank You, Lord, amen. 

My dear sisters and brothers, as we part company today... and we each go about learning how to walk in GODs statutes, how to keep His commandments, and how to do them ... let us encourage one another.  We all need loving reminders, that the rain is coming ... especially during difficult times!
The rain IS coming!
The Lord's mercies are fresh every morning, but some days we just don't feel it, our the body and/or mind is weak/clouded/confused and vulnerable to doubt.  Let us recognize these signs and help each other to re-focus on God's promises.  Let us praise Him and thank Him for His grace, mercy and faithfulness ... no matter what we see or do not see!  This is the kind of faith that delights our LORD! 

This measure of manna has been the "first course" of blessings that our awesome LORD has promised to us from Leviticus 26.  Next visit, Lord willing, we will finish Verse 4.  Definitely not "fast food" ... this manna is to be savored ... bite by bite.

Until we meet again, may God bless you, Sampai kita bertemu lagi, semoga God berkati Anda (Indonesian)


I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.
 ~Shalom~

Monday, December 5, 2011

Leviticus 26:3 ~ IF I do...? ~ Reciprocity: Part Two

Good morning!  What a blessing it is to meet fellow seekers of the truth, on our journey through this land called earth.  Welcome to our humble tent ... please come on in, sit down and relax,  as we prepare to share the amazing manna that God has so graciously given us today.
At our last meeting, we had a sort of "appetizer" as we began Leviticus 26:1-2: click here to reviewGOD began to lay down the conditions of blessings for Israel, who were now in the Promised Land.  (1) No idolatry (2) Keep the Sabbaths (3) Reverence the sanctuary.  He reminded them of the strong and sure Foundation upon which everything good is built; "I AM the LORD your God"!

The LORD is now about to lay out 24 Conditional Blessings ~ blessings that are based on conditions being met: the principle of reciprocity (responding to a positive action with another positive action).

Today's measure of manna seems small in amount (only one verse).  However, it is very, very rich; best taken in smaller portions, so we can digest it properly.


LEVITICUS 26:3 
"If you walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; ... "
Here we have 3 more conditions, to which our GOD so graciously responds with blessings.  The first 3 were commands; the next 3 seem to imply our free choice.  Free-will choices are, sometimes, the more difficult for us, aren't they?  They are certainly the most precious to our Father!
:3(a) "IF you ... "

This is the HUGE condition, right here!!  We must choose to obey.  Will we ... or won't we?  It is a moment by moment, day by day, choice!   God has already established His absolute Authority, Ability and Power. He is now about to tell us what He will do, predicated on what we decide to do.
:3(b) ~ "walk in My statutes,"

Action: walk ~ come, go, accompany, follow, move, travel, walk around in, come and let us go (wow! I love this definition ... thank You, Jesus!)
Where: statutes ~ something prescribed, an enactment, appointed, fixed order, ordinance

*NOTE: GOD set up statutes, ordinances, commandments, laws, precepts and boundaries for our safety and blessing ... not to be rigid restrictions of our actions.  Bless His heart;  He loves us SO much!

:3(c) ~ "and keep My commandments,"

Action: keep (8104) ~ preserve, take heed, pay attention, observe, look narrowly, watch(man), protect
What: commandment (4687) ~ whether human or divine (collectively, the Law) -- (which was) commanded(-ment), law, ordinance, precept, order, obligation.

:3(d) ~ "and do them;" 
Action: do (6213) ~ accomplish, practice, perform, carry out, bring about
What: commandments ~ same as above ... GOD wants us, not only to keep His commandments safe and close, in our hearts and minds.  He also wants us to do them, which requires our action!

Sounds simple, yes?  Well, it is.  And ... it is not.


WALK ... KEEP ... DOthese are all verbs ... action words!

Walk in them, keep them and do them ...

Doesn't seem so simple ... after all ... 

OK, we have plenty here to ruminate on.  Let us just relax here and chew over the conditions that we have so far, before we go on to the on the blessings that the LORD promises to us.  I am feeling full to overflowing, myself ... I need to digest what is my part in this lesson.  Wow ...

A Quick Review ~ To Do List:
GOD commanded us: 1. No idols
2. Keep His Sabbaths
3. Reverence His Sanctuary

Here, the LORD gives us the privilege (and responsibility) of choice (if we):
4. Walk in the His statutes
5. Keep His commandments
6. Do His commandments


For study purposes, we may want to keep a list handy.  We are no longer bound by the Law (thank You, Jesus)However, according to God's principles and promises, every choice we make does have consequences.  Which makes this measure of manna, as all of God's Word, a truly a "Super-Food."

Surely, knowing that our Lord is the Great I AM is enough.  I should do as He says.  He made me.  He knows what is best for me ... but, is that enough for meIs that knowledge and belief really all I truly need, to obey HimDo I really believe HimHow do I show it?  Do I act on His commands and instructions, or (gulp) do I sometimes walk away and forget, or ignore, Him?  I would like to want to be obedient in all these things, before even knowing what He promises will follow my obedience.

So, dear friends, I am going to make myself an action list.
How and where do I walk?  Do I always walk humbly with my God? (Micah 6:8)  How, exactly, do I depend on Him?  Have I been heeding God's statutes, or do I still rebel?

Am I always aware of God's commandments?  Where do I keep them ... on my wall or bookshelf?  Or, in my heart and forefront of my mind?  What do I do about protecting our right to display them? (oh my, this is getting a little uncomfortable)

OK, how exactly do I do His commandments?  Have I memorized them?  Have they yet become habits, that I do without thinking ... or not?  How can I improve my performance of my Father's commandments?
On these things, I must sit quietly and meditate ... or, as Nike says; JUST DO IT!!!


Until we meet again, may God bless you, Tot ons weer ontmoet, mag God jou seën (Afrikaans)



I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.
 ~Shalom~

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Leviticus 26:1-2 ~ Conditions of Blessings ~ Reciprocity: Part One

Good Morning, fellow travelers in the narrow way!  When we last met, we shared Leviticus 25:50-55: click here to review.  We dined on God's principles of Reckoning and Redemption of the Israelite slaves in the promised land.  Thank God, Jesus has paid the price for our redemption, once and for all ... the whole enchilada!
The Lord finished up Chapter 25 with a Reminder, that He repeats already, in the very first verse of Chapter 26 ... and again in verse 2!  It is clear, that this foundational point needs to be repeated, a LOT ... to get it through our thick (sheep-like) heads, into our hearts and through to our very souls!!!

Friends, seekers of truth, weary travelers ~ come on in, sit down ~ we are pleased to share with you, refreshment from the Word of God.  The table is set for the Lord's principle of reciprocity (responding to a positive action with another positive action).  This morning, we shall serve a rather rich appetizer, to stimulate our appetite for the meal to follow.

Here in, Chapter 26, the LORD begins to lay out the Conditions of Blessings in the Promised Land: (1) No Idolatry  (2) Keep the Sabbaths  (3) Reverence the Sanctuary

LEVITICUS 26:1-2
"You shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear up a standing image, neither shall you set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it; for I AM the LORD your GodYou shall keep My sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I AM the LORD your God."
:1 ~ "You shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear up a standing image, neither shall you set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it; for I AM the LORD your God.

God never commands us to do anything, without telling us why.  I find this extremely comforting; perhaps not always in the "warm and fuzzy" sense ... but comfort, in that the LORD has a plan and a reason for everything He does.  This is sure and something we can always count on.  We don't always know the reason ... but we always know that God does ... and ... that it is for our best good.  How reassuring that is!

Here, the LORD is commanding the Israelites, in no uncertain terms, to not make idols, nor make, rear up or set up any graven or standing image, nor any image of stone for themselves to bow down to.  Pretty clear, don't you think?

But what form of images, or idols, do we create, look up to, or "worship" in our own lives?? Yikes, what a horrendous thought!  But, we humans, unfortunately, tend to hold "things" and/or other people in pretty high esteem.  We often let them take space in our lives and our hearts, that God alone should occupy.

It is time to take a good look ... what situations we have made for ourselves, what have we set up in our lives, that takes that "high place" from God???  Do we bend or "bow down" to anyone or anything, besides the LORD our God?  Our employers, spouses or peers?  Maybe money, house or vehicle?  What controls us and our time?  TV, video games, organizations .... pastors?

Obviously, the LORD speaks here of actual graven (or carved) idols or images of any person or thing ... that have been created by human hands.  Idols or graven, standing, or stone images have no life and are not to be made, lifted up, nor worshiped, period.


Hebrew translations from Biblos Lexicon:
idol ~ thing of no value, vain, insufficient, worthless
graven image ~ carved image
standing image ~ something stationed, memorial stone, sacred pillar, column
bow down ~ depress, prostrate, pay homage to royalty or God
image of stone ~ carved on stone, the wall or any object; showpiece, figure, imagination, conceit, imagery, picture, wish 

His reason: "for I AM the LORD your God."  This is not at all like what we tell our children; "Because, I'm your Mom, that's why."  Although, we want them to learn to obey the God-given authority over them... neither Mom, nor Dad, is perfect and neither are constant or sure or true as is our Almighty God!  While we desire the best good for our children; we are but creations, certainly not the Creator.  We have only limited vision and knowledge.  God, on the other hand, knew His plans for each individual, even before the foundation of the earth!  Bless His heart!

HE alone is the LORD GOD.  The GOD of Moses, Israel, Isaac, and Jacob ... AND you and I!!!  His statement here is extremely personal ... "I am the LORD your God."  He states this over and over, throughout the Bible ... "for, I am ..." ... "that, you know that I am ..." and many many more.

NOTE:  This is a wonderful side-study to do.  Look up, in a concordance, all the instances of "I am the LORD your God," find them and mark them in your Bible.  The GOD of all creation, reveals Himself to us, in His Word, in such awesome and very personal ways.  This exercise is a great faith-builder!!  He loves us SO much!!  Hint: dig deeper into the surrounding Scriptures ... for really amazing treasure!

Jon Courson, points out, correctly, that: "... in reality, no image, no idol, no false god can ever stand."  For a link to Pastor Jon's wonderful (free) online Verse-by-Verse Audio Study of Leviticus 24-27 and much more: click here.  I highly recommend his in-depth, Topical Study of Leviticus 26:1 ~ Overcoming Idolatry.  Jon's Application Commentary is a must-have-handy on my Bible Study book shelf: click here to learn more.

This subject is as deep and relevant today, as it was these thousands of years ago ... and just as vital to overcome!  Still today, God speaks to us through His Living Word.

:2 ~ "You shall keep My sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I AM the LORD."
keep ~ watch, preserve, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.
sabbaths ~ intermission, i.e (specifically) the Sabbath -- (+ every) sabbath.
reverence ~ to fear; morally, to revere, to honor
sanctuary ~ consecrated place, asylum, hallowed part, holy place

OK, the LORD has already reestablished His Absolute Authority!  He is already Reminding us, again, of the "Why!"  I believe this is also a Warning.

He commands the Israelites, while they are in the Land, to keep, guard, protect and preserve His sabbaths, as hedging them about with thorns.  Thorns would keep others things and people from intruding into or interrupting His ordained rest.  Wow!  I just now saw that!  It is obvious that GOD seriously wants that time!!!
"Noon Rest from Work "(after Millet) Vincent VanGogh 1890
We are not told to rest, if we can, or if we have the time, or if it is convenient for us.  The LORD scheduled specific periods of rest for the best good of the people, their lands, their jobs and many aspects of their lives.  Our Maker commands His people, not suggests to them, to keep His time of rest!

We are unfathomably important to our Creator, therefore His rest is vital to our well being.  The same principles that were true yesterday; are true today and will still be true tomorrow!!!  I believe God's principles and laws are historical, applicable, scientific and prophetic ... like all of His Word.

The LORD also commands us to reverence His sanctuary, His holy place, His consecrated (anointed and set apart) place.  Back then, His tabernacle and holy place were consecrated with the blood of lambs.  But now, His sanctuary has been consecrated by the very Blood of His Son Jesus our Christ!  Wow, oh wow.  We should never take lightly, entering in to that consecrated place, where GOD abides.  We are not to disregard nor disrespect that place which He has set aside, cleansed with His Son's Blood, as a holy place for Him to dwell.
Zion National Park, Utah
Reverence requires regard, with deep respect and honor ... with fear and awe of the power, holiness and sanctity of God.  On this earth, right now, the LORD has chosen to abide in us (of all places!), through His Holy Spirit!  Therefore, this command IS very personal!  I am left speechless ...

GOD says what He means and means what He says.  We tend to minimize, rationalize, "interpret" or otherwise reason away and/or bend the Words of Almighty God.  We may say, "Well, that was the Old Testament ... Jesus fulfilled the Law ... so that does not apply to me."

In Galations 3:23-26, Paul writes, "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."  Are we not to have learned from our schoolmaster??  Even if we are no longer directly under his/her authority?  According to  2 Timothy 3:16-17"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Aert de Gelder Schoolmaster with his pupils~not dated
We may "reason" that God intended these commands only for the Israelites.  We may "interpret" His Word, to suit ourselves, in any number of ways ... or we may even deny that the Bible contains the actual Words of God.  Our flesh will do anything to escape being responsible and accountable for the Truth, that we see and hear from God.  The enemy and the world will tell us, that the Bible was written and translated by men, therefore full of "mistakes."  Many argue the authority or authenticity of one version of the Bible over another.

Well, folks, no matter what we may think, construe, imagine or argue ... I do not believe that the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, wastes His time nor His breath.  I believe that we need to listen to every Word, that He deemed important enough to preserve for over 2000 years, virtually unchanged.  In Mark 4:4, Jesus said:  "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

Surely, He does not want us stuck in legalism, like the Pharisees .. nor in our own dogma, like the Sadducees.  But I do believe that God instituted spiritual Laws as surely as physical laws.  We are about to find out how He says these laws work.  I think we should listen up ... don't you?


Until we meet again,  Док не меет агаин (Serbian) 


I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.
 ~Shalom~
 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Leviticus 25:50-55 ~ Triple R ~ Reckoning~Redemption~Reminder!

Good morning, my friends and fellow sojourners on this earth.  During our last visit we supped together on Leviticus 25:47-49: click here to review.  We learned of our God's awesome provision for the Israelites, when they fell upon tough times.  The law of Kinsman Redeemer was introduced. 

Lord willing, we will finish up Leviticus 25 today.  This morning's measure of manna is spiced with God's Triple R seasoning: Reckoning, Reminder, and Redemption.  Please join us, as we share a delicious portion of God's Word. 
LEVITICUS 25:50-55

And he shall Reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him.  If there yet be many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.  And if their remains but a few years until the year of jubile, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his Redemption.  And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in your sight.  And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubile, both he, and his children with him. (Reminder) For unto Me the children of Israel are servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. 

:50 ~ And he shall Reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him. 


"Is God instituting slavery in these laws regarding the price of a slave's redemption? prior to the Year of Jubilee?" asks Jon Courson in his Application Commentary on the Old Testament.  "No, He's regulating what was already taking place.  Why didn't God forbid slavery?  Because God's way is to change people.  Changed people, in turn--like England's abolitionist William Wilberforce, an outspoken believer, will then change politics."

What do you think of that statement?  Of course, no argument, God is definitely in the business of changing people and using them to effect change in the world!  It makes me think ... regulation versus prohibition ... would, or does, it work for today's governments?

You can listen (for free) to Pastor Jon's Bible teachings: by Book, Verse by Verse, or In-Depth Topical and Expositional Teachings.  Many excellent resources there, including a Daily Devotional.  Guaranteed blessings.

Also, speaking of reckoning ... shall there not be a Reckoning (settling of accounts) when we meet our LORD at the Throne of Judgement???   For Scriptures regarding the "day of judgment" in Biblos: click here. 

Jesus does give us the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-34.  This Scripture follows the whole set up, back here in Leviticus.  The forgiveness of debt ... of course, Jesus died to pay our debts, once and for all.  But, I also notice that, in this text from Matthew, the Lord spoke of settling of accounts with His servants ... not everyone.
Photo credit and thanks to: The Bible a Book of Truth
Then, there is the 'day of reckoning' described in Matthew 25 which includes His servants (His sheep) and the 'others' (goats)I adore the above photo.  While it does not depict the final separation; it does beautifully portray the ongoing enmity between the sheep and the goats.

I know that I have left out other relevant Scriptures, including: Revelation 20:11-12 which describes the reckoning at the Great White Throne ... this would be another whole study:  please add your comments!

Hebrew law limited the service of the Israelite servant to 6 years, unless he offered a voluntary service after that period ... Exodus 21:1-6

:51 ~ If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his Redemption out of the money that he was bought for. 

If he was only in service a short time, the Israelite servant must have been expected to still have the money he was originally given when he sold himself into his master's service.  And could buy back (redeem) his debt or contract.

:52 ~ And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubile, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again  the price of his Redemption.

On the other hand, if he had served most of his term of service; he was soon to be set free at Jubilee anyway; he had to reckon with his master for the Redemption price of an early release from his contract or to pay off his debt early.

53 ~ And as a yearly  hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in your sight.

There were stringent rules about how a stranger or sojourner was to treat an Israelite in his service.  He was to be treated fairly and with respect.  I believe that the same rules still hold true today ... between us and our employers.  The employers of God's servants are held to a higher accountability for how they treat their employees.  We discussed that more in depth in our last study.

:54 ~ And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubile, both he, and his children with him.

Year of Jubile (Jubilee) ~ The 50th year, which followed seven Sabbath years, was to proclaim liberty to those who were servants because of debt, and to return lands to their former owners.  (Leviticus 25:8-55, 27:17-24; Ezekiel 46:17As Christians, is this not me and you, as well???  Jesus (our Kinsman Redeemer) said that He came to proclaim liberty!!!  Are we not His servants?!  Bless Him, for paying the debt, that we could never pay!  Hallelujah!!!

This also brings up a question: what children is he to take with him?  Scripture states that if a servant meets a female servant while in the employ of the master and she bears his children, that the woman and the children are the property of the owner and are to stay there.

Aha!  There is a very different situation here ... don't you just LOVE hunting for treasure in the Bible???  According to John Gill's Exposition on the Bible: "his wife too, if he had any, was comprehended in himself, and whom, both wife and children, his master was obliged to maintain during his servitude."

So, it was quite a commitment for a master to take on an Israelite slave!  Beside the rules of fair treatment; he was also responsible for the well-being of this man's immediate family.  I would think that it would take a more compassionate and responsible man, than most, to hire a Jewish servant. He would have more mouths to feed, but probably more hands to work, as well!

Hmmm ... I feel like there is more to this!  Anyone?  Can you contribute to this point about the children?
  
John Calvin said in his Commentary:  "The object of the law was, that none of those whom God had adopted, should be alienated from their race, and thus should depart from the true worship of God Himself. The whole of this is comprehended in the last verse, where God declares that the children of Abraham were His property, inasmuch as He had led them forth from the land of Egypt, and, on the other hand, that He is their peculiar God. For, whilst it was just that they should enjoy His blessing, so also it behooved that they should be kept sound in His pure and undivided worship..."

Now, the LORD concludes with a very clear Reminder!
:55 ~ For unto Me the children of Israel are servants; they are My servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I AM the LORD your God.

This Reminder is comforting to His sheep and foreboding to the goats!

I do believe that it will not go well to anyone who mistreats one of God's servants!  There is no room, for "interpretation" here.  This last verse is the bottom line!
To us, this Reminder is a blessed assurance; at the same time, it is also a strict warning...lest we ever forget from Whom comes our freedom, our joy, our very life and breath!  And to Whom belongs our everlasting thanks, worship and praise!

Bless the LORD, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name! ~ Psalms 103:1 

Until we meet again, Tot ons weer ontmoet (Afrikaans)

I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.
 ~Shalom~