Friday March 12, 2021
Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 34:12-17
But you have changed your minds and profaned my name. Each has taken back his male and female slaves who had been set free to go wherever they wanted, and you have again forced them to be your slaves.
Reflection: True freedom comes through willing servanthood to the Lord God. During Old Testament times, slavery in Israel was a voluntary servanthood that one took upon themselves to resolve debt with another person. Slavery in Israel was designed to be more like indentured servanthood, a way to pay back an amount that had accrued. This was an option that people had to relieve themselves of monies or property due. In order to regulate this practice, Israel was commanded by God to allow slaves to serve their master for only up to six years. Upon the seventh year, the slave was to be set free. But during the time of Jeremiah, Israel had abused this practice. Slave masters who had made contracts with their slaves began denying them their freedom. Many who had volunteered to be temporary servants had become oppressed by their own people who were evil and selfish. A this time, God Who had once rescued His people from slavery foretells of punishment that is coming upon Israel because of their disobedience to Him. In refusing to follow his commands, Israel had become just like Egypt. By refusing to serve Him, they chose instead to serve their own sinful desires.
God offers freedom for His people through servanthood to Him. Israel is a tangible example of how God frees His people from bondage and by His commands offers good fellowship with Him and His people. His statutes establish a way for His people to live as they were designed to live with Him. More importantly, Israel is a picture of a more complete freedom God establishes for His own through His Son Jesus Christ. Every person in the bondage of sin who tries to resolve their own debt remains subject to its will. In the throes of sin, one is restricted and destroyed by it. One also inflicts pain and suffering upon others by sin and rebels against the God Who saves. But God sets us free when we choose to become a servant of Him. His commands are for our good, and by laying down our own life to God’s Will we allow Him to truly free us by His Work through Jesus. During the time of Jeremiah, Israel will suffer the punishment of their choice to live outside the commands of God. But through their story, God shows us the benefit of living in willing servanthood to Him. We are only truly free when we are servants of the Lord.
Prayer: Loving God, only by Your Truth have we been truly set free. Only by Your Grace alone have we been saved. Thank You for Your Work which has redeemed us through Your Son. Thank You for all that You have done to secure our freedom into eternity. I pray that You teach me how to lay my life down for You. Show me how to live as Your servant, that I would continue in blessed fellowship with You, and in freedom to serve You with Joy. All of these things I lift up to You in the Name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.
NOTE: Our “Thru the Bible in a Year” Reading Plan (which was made available through Biblestudytools.com) is temporarily unavailable online due to unknown reasons. For now, we are utilizing the web source Bible Gateway for online access to Scripture.
For today’s Bible Reading, we recommend 1 Peter 3, Jeremiah 34, and Psalm 136. May God’s Word richly bless you!