Exodus 21:1-11 - Freedom and Provision

Exodus : From Bondage to Glory  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:58
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Exodus 21:1–11 ESV
1 “Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. 2 When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. 3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. 5 But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever. 7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.


They just came out of slavery.
It would be fresh in their minds.
Distinct from Egypt and other surrounding countries.
What are they to do with debt, etc.

Regulations for Slaves

Indentured Servitude
One could sell themselves into slavery because of poverty or debt.
Indentured servant - bondservant.
It was voluntary.
Not exactly slavery: Lev 25:39-40
Leviticus 25:39–40 ESV
39 “If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave: 40 he shall be with you as a hired worker and as a sojourner. He shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee.
Slavery was forbidden (among the Israelites)
God demands the death penalty for slave traders - Exodus 21:16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.”
Protection of the poor in Israel.
It is temporary
Six years (2)
Students loans often require more.
Tied to Sabbath
Fair treatment. Protection against abuse. Dignity.
People made in God’s image should be treated with respect and dignity.
God’s people have been redeemed and were to never suffer through slavery again (exile) - Egyptian context Exod 6:6
Exodus 6:6 ESV
6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.
Choice to leave after six years. Not a perpetual state.
The law allowed the individual the ability to chose his state.
Exod 21:5-6 “5 But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”
Servitude was not the worst state.
John Currid
A Study Commentary on Exodus: Volume 2: Exodus 19–40 Laws of the Hebrew Slave (Exodus 21:1–11)

The act is carried out at the doorpost to recall Israel’s putting the blood of the covenant on their doorposts in Egypt. The piercing of the slave’s ear is also a bloody ritual symbolizing a covenant, an oath between the Hebrew servant and his Hebrew master.

Provision upon their release Deut 15:12-15
Deuteronomy 15:12–15 ESV
12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.
So that he does not fall back into slavery.
Plundering of the Egyptians in Exodus 12:35-36
It benefited the servant.
They were there because of their debt, mismanagement of their household, and often sin.
God used this method to train them to handle their possessions well and give them a new start.
They were not to remain perpetually poor.
This slavery had a redemptive purpose.
Family provisions
Wife leaves with him v.3
Wife given to him remains until she has served her six years (4)
Her debt could be paid and she be redeemed
A daughter sold into slavery was to marry the master or his son. (7) Special treatment.
If he does not want to marry her (breaks the contract) he must let her go free (he cannot sell her) (8)
Made a daughter and part of the household and free (9)
Made sure she would not be neglected (10-11)
God is not condoning slavery , He is protecting the weak in a broken and sinful society where such things happen.
Same is true for polygamy. (10)

Our Slavery to Sin

We are born enslaved to sin
John 8:34–36 ESV
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Titus 3:3 ESV
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
2 Peter 2:19 ESV
19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
Romans 6:16 ESV
16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Freedom in Christ

In Christ we are set free from sin
Jesus paid the price to redeem us, His blood.
Gal 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”
Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,”
He has set us free so that we may be a part of God’s family.
Galatians 4:4–7 ESV
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Col 1:13-14 “13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
It is an eternal redemption: Hebrews 9:11-12
Hebrews 9:11–12 ESV
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Jesus came as a servant
Psalm 40:6–8 ESV
6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
In Saving men, He would be the Father’s servant forever.
Phil 2:7 “He emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Slavery to God

God will protect us and care for us.
Isaiah 43:1–4 ESV
1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
We are to serve Him as our master and Lord
Paul, James, and Peter begin letters by introducing themselves as servants (or bondservants) of the Lord
Choice to serve out of love
Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
1 Peter 2:16 “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
Romans 6:17–19 ESV
17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Romans 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
We are to serve others for His sake
Matthew 20:25–28 ESV
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Ways that help and not hurt.
Closing Hymn: Who is This, So Weak and Helpless #239
Benediction: The Lord is our strength and our song, and He has become our salvation; this is our God, and we will praise him, our father's God, and we will exalt him.
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