“Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them. If you buy an Hebrew slave, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.” Exodus 21:1
You do not have to drive down the road very far before you spot a bumper sticker that says, Jesus is Lord; I often wonder if the person truly understands the meaning behind the statement. The word for Lord in the Hebrew is Adonai and it means My Masters; the plural form suggests the Trinity. When referring to men in the Old Testament text it is always in the singular form.
The prominent concept behind the name is that of a master/slave relationship. Following the giving of the law in Exodus 20 is this passage concerning the treatment of slaves among God’s people Israel. Slavery is not discouraged or encouraged in the Bible, nevertheless mistreatment of others is forbidden. The idea of ownership of men by masters is used by God as a description of the relationship between God and men. When the word Lord is spelled with a capital “L” and a small “ord” in the NAS and KJ versions that word is Adonai or ‘My Masters.’ This word signifies ownership, where the slave does not possess rights, privileges or any freedom of his own.
In Exodus 21, the slave has the option to go free after seven years, but if he desires to stay because he loves his master, wife, and children then he can decide to do so. If the slave decides to stay, he must have his ear pierced with an awl, which is a sign that he will stay a willing slave forever. God gives us a picture of willingly giving up all rights to serve Him as a slave for all eternity. If this is a hard concept, stay tuned for future Blogs.
The Christian is one who willingly serves Christ as a slave, out of love, and devotion, where once he was enslaved to sin, and wickedness.
“Do you not know, that to whom you yield yourselves slaves to obey, his slaves you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16