Thursday, January 01, 2015

Striking One’s Servants (Workers) -- Exodus 21:26-27

--> “And if a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye.  And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth."
 
We return once again to instructions regarding the treatment of one’s slaves.  For whatever reason, God in the days of the Old Testament did not abolish slavery.  Perhaps we will never know why He did not at the time.  Looking at the history of mankind after God created Adam and Eve, He pretty well left us alone to exercise our free will, sometimes not positively and often beyond what Cain had done to Abel.  We slowly fanned the flames of our sinful nature and developed a number of practices that were not to God’s liking.
Slavery was one of these.  Another was how we thought of, and actually treated, females.  So in the Old Testament God takes steps to curb our behaviors in those areas.  But as we progress through the centuries and move into the New Testament, we see God’s ultimate plan for ending slavery as a means of economic gain being played out, and eventually being outlawed many centuries later.  Similarly, God intended for male and female to be different, but equal.  This too is taught in the New Testament and is also what we believe today.
In our current Exodus passage, God is giving His people instructions as to how they need to treat their slaves.  And while doing so, He emphasizes His position on equality of the sexes, in this case in the equality of male and female slaves.  The ordinance He gives here applies equally to both genders of slaves.
God, in this passage, is focusing on the master-slave or servant relationship.  And the general principle He imposes is twofold.  First, there are limits to what masters can do to slaves without consequences, and secondly, when you physically harm one of your slaves to the point of permanent damage, he or she is to be given their freedom.
In today’s world, the context changes from a master-slave relationship, to an employer-employee one.  In keeping with what God was imposing on His people in Exodus, employers are still limited in how they are allowed to treat their employees.  And if they neglect paying attention to the laws that prescribe such treatment, at a minimum, they can suffer considerable financial penalties.
But what does all this teach us in 2015?  Let me suggest the following:  We must understand that God never intended for one man (or woman) to be owned by another.  He believes in the equality and dignity of all men and women.  It is with this understanding that the American Pledge of Allegiance (since 1954) is what it is, and I quote, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Furthermore, we who care about what God thinks and desires from us, have a responsibility to work to eliminate anything in society which allows one person to ‘own’ or ‘misuse’ another.  As a minimum, we should call it out and make it public.
And finally, we have a responsibility to make sure we personally and genuinely value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, of both genders, alike – be it our children, spouse, parents, co-workers, employees, and employers.
Are you really there?
________________________________________________________________________

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.  And while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.  Ken.
________________________________________________________________________

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

No comments:

Post a Comment