TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 15:12-23.
🔑KEY VERSE “And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee” (DEUTERONOMY 15:12).
On December 2, 1808, in his annual message to Congress, widely reprinted in most newspapers, President Thomas Jefferson denounced the “violation of human rights” attending the international slave trade and called for its criminalisation.
The Lord, in this chapter, prohibited the Israelites from keeping fellow Israelites servants beyond six years. On the seventh year, they should be set free and allowed to go wherever they want without any conditions. The servant who willingly expresses his or her desire to stay in service beyond six years, is to have a hole bored on the right ear to signify that he volunteered willingly to stay in service with his master beyond the stipulated period.
The Lord reminded the Israelites of the horrible experience they had while working as slaves in Egypt. He wanted them to act differently from the prevailing harshness and cruelty meted out to slaves and servants among the surrounding heathen nations. He wanted them to hate enslavement with passion.
Human trafficking in any form for the purpose of exploitation is a gross violation of human rights. Within the body of Christ, under the current dispensation,
it is a serious offence against God for any believer to put people in servitude or subject them to oppression for any reason.
The Lord has already condemned in Scriptures the habit of keeping workers or employees under poor working conditions and failing to pay them their wages when due. God does not answer the prayers of those who oppress their fellow human beings.
To have His favour and blessings, we must obey His command to set free those we have placed under captivity and oppression, instead of engaging in endless prayer and fasting.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Set the captives free and release those under oppression.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: 2 SAMUEL 23-24.
How to treat our house helps, servants and employees
- Put their future interest, freedom and prosperity in perspective. Don’t be selfish v12.
- Don’t use and dump. Have specific plans for their successful independent living v12.
- In determining their wages, treat them like human beings who should have enough to secure their present and prepare for their future. Don’t be like Laban, Jacob’s master v12.
- Don’t be oppressive. Treat them in such a way that they will enjoy working for you and if they are to leave, it will be reluctantly vv16,17.
- Settle them after they have served you and it is time to release them vv13,18.
- Don’t enslave them. Don’t use affliction, deprivation, denials or delays in paying them to drive them away vv13,14.
- The reward and blessings that follow obedience and love outweigh the sacrifice v18c.
- It is expected of the servants to behave brotherly and sacrificially in a way that the employer will be prospered and happy at their service v12, Titus 2:9,10.
Q Can you mention the servant of a brother in the Bible who got converted in the prison and was told to go back to his master and make restitution?
Q If God would demand a slave to be settled, then God will much more settle His children, including me
Father, I praise you because you have definite plans of prosperity and success for my life
LORD, don’t allow me to stay away from your purpose for my life but rather give me your revelation of your plan for my life and keep me focused
LORD, I ask that you open all doors that will lead me to perfect settlement in life and remove all obstacles
LORD, come and settle all the jobless, oppressed and afflicted in the church with great testimonies
HYMN Somebody needs your love