June 11, 2023

Protecting the Vulnerable

Passage: Exodus 21:1-11
Service Type:

Sermon 57 in Series

Exodus 21:1-11

[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.

DEEP SHEET: Sermon Study Questions
Why is slavery such a difficult topic for us? How have you heard people disparage or mischaracterize the Bible over this issue?
2.   In general, what do these two passages show about God’s justice and character? How could they be twisted to defame God and his Law?
3.   How did slavery function in ancient society? What protections were in place for these Hebrew servants among their fellow Israelites?
4.   How do Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:7-8 help us make sense of these kinds of laws? How do these laws accentuate our collective need for a Savior?
5.   What instruction is given here regarding female servants acquired for marriage? In what ways did this protect her from being exploited or marginalized?
6.   What role does slavery play in our understanding of the gospel? How do these realities fuel our gratitude and obedience?

References: Proverbs 8:13; Exodus 20:10, 17; 21:16; Leviticus 25:39-40, 42-43; Deuteronomy 15:12-15; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:7-8; Genesis 29:31-30:24; Romans 6:22.


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