Isn't it interesting that as soon as God gives the Ten Words that He immediately goes into laws of slavery?!
The Ten Words were as a ketubah. In Hebrew, this refers to a marriage covenant, where the husband writes his name and offer of marriage, vows of the covenant, for the bride to accept. God offered the ketubah (Ten Words), Israel accepted, so then the Lord continues on with an 'okay then, let's get started on this married life," -- and Friend, that life includes servanthood. It is as if God is trying to make it perfectly clear that this is what it means to be committed and in a covenant -- it means to be a servant. Naturally, our sinful instinct is self-serving and refusal to be under any authority, especially to be a slave. Yet, God is bringing this up immediately because these people just came out of slavery, and He needs to show them that slavery will still exists howbeit to Him it is moral and full of care.
Going back to the ketubah...When we look at the Ten Words as the ketubah that it is, all of a sudden it makes sense that being because Israel was put away, Yeshua's came "for the lost sheep of Israel", and by His death He freed her for remarriage. As we often like to quote Paul, death frees us from the bond of marriage; however, that is not the only way to be free of marriage, yet is was the only way for Israel. Messiah said to the Torah-keepers (which is separate from those who entered their marriages in rebellion to God) that remarriage while the spouses are living is only for the victim for adultery. The adulteress herself is bonded to the covenant, even though she be divorced. Israel was a divorced wife because of her adultery. Imagine the Good News that there is a way for her to remarry the First Love of her youth, to reenter that Covenant, because the death of her Husband freed her from her curse of adultery in her first covenant.
Why would anyone want to leave such a covenant though? It is for our peace and for longevity of life that He gave us those Laws. I venture to say it all starts with the opposition to exactly how God started His marriage -- it is the opposition to slavery. It is the opposition to being submissive, subjected. Man wants to be a slave to no one but his own desires. Therefore, man wants to be his own god, make his own rules, lord his own body. I see one of the biggest results of this today is our current-day holocaust of abortion-on-demand.
"If men fight, and hit a pregnant woman so that her child is born early, yet no harm follows, the one who hit her is to be strictly fined, according to what the woman's husband demands of him. He must pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you are to penalize life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, blow for blow." -- Exodus 21:22-25 TLV
We hear a lot of usage on the part of that passage "eye for eye, tooth for tooth"... Yet it was years after I became familiar with those words that I realized it was referring to the preborn baby being harmed to come out early than the time required for him/her to grow. Now we know that when Yeshua returns He will thresh this floor and there will be bloodshed, like pressing the grapes for Sukkot. Do you ever think upon why He would thresh the floor? The Lord is a just God and will repay for the lives taken, the innocent and premature blood shed.
This time last week I was involved in debates on whether or not believers should have an active part in the fight to abolish human abortion. I listened to some that believed that it was a calling, therefore it is not the job of all, and then I listened to some who were very firm believers that it is the job of all. I want to bring up his point mainly because the parsha mentions how he sees the preborn doomed for abortion:
"You must not mistreat any widow or orphan. If you mistreat them in any way, and they cry out to Me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will burn hot, and I will kill you with the sword. So your wives will become widows and your children will become orphans." -- Exodus 22:21-23
The young man said that these abortion-bound babies are orphans because their parents have abandoned them. Until the moment they are murdered, they are orphaned. After that, they are simply murdered, sacrificed children to the god of pleasure and self. If that is indeed how God sees those little beings as their hearts as still beating, blood running through their fragile bodies as they are being dragged to their death unawares, then Beloved, we all in His Covenant have a duty to these orphans. In fact, James would say that visiting them in their affliction is a part of pure religion (James 1:27)! God's heart is ever towards to orphaned and widowed, because He is a Father and He is a Husband. We are indeed robbing God of those He could Father and those He could wed. Mark again, that this parsha and the last surrounded His roles as Father and Husband -- our religious duties are to include those who need a father and need a husband. It is indeed then all of our callings.
We mentioned the threshing of the floor for Sukkot, and I think also of the above verse where the Lord said the mistreatment of any widow or orphan would cause His wrath to burn and He would consume with the sword. Once again, think about what we can expect when Yeshua returns, and quite a big reason of why we can expect Him to do as He will do at that time.
The Lord also mentioned in the above verse that if the widow or orphan cry to Him then He will surely hear their cry. I want to end this week's parsha telling you a story about the baby I said I was mourning in December...
A woman I knew from a family member found herself in an unwanted pregnancy. She contacted me and told me in tears of her pregnancy. She was turning her life around and so since she already was familiar with some of the Word of God I made quick mention of the sin of fornication but just as quickly started talking to her about her thoughts towards the baby. I offered to help her in her pregnancy and go to all her appointments with her, help her find a home for her baby. My husband and I would have even privately adopted the baby if it came to it. I urged her that in her history of her children paying for her mistakes, she has an opportunity to do things differently and to not let this baby pay for the sexual immorality mistake that she had made. She got off the phone comforted and believed all would be okay. It was maybe 2 weeks later my husband got up in the middle of the night in tears. He was given a dream with a baby who he said he knew wasn't ours but somehow God had bonded him to us. He witnessed the being harmed. He tried to save him but it was too late. He saw the baby laying on the floor, dead. Then he heard the name "Samuel" and he woke up. He knew the dream was from the Lord and the baby was someone we must have known. It was that very morning I found out the woman killed her son. I mourned him because it wasn't hard to do so, and because I felt God wanted us to because He involved us. He told us of mistreatment of that little life. He wouldn't have otherwise been honored, been remembered, been validated as a human being. I know God heard him not only because He gave a dream, but because in that dream God named the baby. He named him "Samuel" -- "El hears."
"You must not mistreat any widow or orphan. If you mistreat them in any way, and they cry out to Me, I will surely hear their cry."
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