Climbing the Social Ladder
“…God has just turned the common world social ladder upside down. Unlike any civil and social system ever devised up to that point by man, the one given to Israel by Yehovah begins with its concern for dealing fairly with those who are the lowest of the social scale, SLAVES.”
-taken from the podcast Torah Class by Tom Bradford
Wow. Let’s allow that to settle in a bit.
For reference, we are talking about the Mishpatim, or rulings God gives to His people found in Exodus 21, just after what is commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments.
Ok, so God could have started with how we are to treat our kings and rulers, but He didn’t. He could have started with how we are to treat those we love the most, like our sons and daughters, but He didn’t. He began with His concern for the fair treatment of the people on the lowest rung of the social ladder at that time, the slaves. Doesn’t this just say so much about the heart of God?
Oh wait, if you’re picturing chains, shackles and bars, well, uh don’t. Slavery during that time was not the common day slavery we’ve got etched in our minds. Instead, picture an employee who owes a great deal of money to his boss, so he is working for free to pay off that debt. In the meantime, the boss has the employee over every night for dinner with his family. Ok, got it? Cool! But that still doesn’t change the fact that God BEGINS there. Oh to have the heart of the One who loves us so deeply!