"Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them..." Hosea 14:9
Text: Exodus 21 : 2
THE PROBLEM OF INDEBTEDNESS
A person may find himself hopelessly indebted for a number of reasons. There could be untimely death in the family. Business failure could occur. Some may have run up big bills because of serious illness! In the long run, a person becomes indebted! How does one resolve the problem of indebtedness?
AN HONOURABLE SOLUTION
One honourable solution was the slavery system that God spoke to Moses about! Let us ponder the following text:
“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years;
and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.”
1. “If you buy a Hebrew servant”
A Hebrew man may offer himself up for sale as a slave (“servant” in the NKJV text). He is willing to work as a slave to anyone who would purchase him. The price would of course be the amount of debt that he has incurred!
2. “He shall serve six years”
Is there a difference between the slave system of Israel and Egypt? Absolutely! The differences are many and major! One was highlighted in this text! Whereas Egypt’s slaves served till they died, Hebrew slaves served only a maximum of six years!
3. “And in the seventh year he shall go out free and pay nothing”
Another major difference is brought out in this text! There was full release for the servant on the seventh year! What his master has paid for him would have been considered full repayment after six years of service as a slave! Egypt never had a system where slaves were released! Pharaoh’s hand had to be forced before he would release his Hebrew slaves! It took the mighty hand of God to cause Pharaoh to release all the children of Israel from the yoke of Egyptian slavery!
PAYING OFF ONE’S DEBTS
The system of slavery that God proposed to Moses was a good and honourable one! It enabled the individual to work out a good and equitable solution to resolve the issue of being indebted! The person who has become indebted is obliged to pay off his debts! He cannot just hope to get off scot-free! He must be held responsible to repay whatever debts he had incurred!
If people can run up debts without being held responsible, then that society would be ruined before too long! Those who are in debt should feel grateful that there was a law that gave them a way out of their financial predicaments! Owners were not allowed to take advantage of their slaves! If both obeyed God’s law, things would work out well!