Remember You Were A Slave



1. If something is in the Bible, then it's important to know.
2. Usually when something is very important, God's word mentions it
not only once but many times.
3. Five times in the book of Deuteronomy God commands Israel to
remember that they were slaves in Egypt.
4. The Bible is a book of examples. Because something happened to
God's people of old, we also may learn from their example


1. (IORT) Let's examine the five times God mentions that Israel was in
slavery in Egypt in the book of Deuteronomy.
2. At the end of this study, let's ask ourselves how we as Christians
should apply this principle God repeats.


I. The First, Second, and Third Times God Says This.

A. Concerning the sabbath rest. (Deut. 5:12-15)
1. The Jews were commanded to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy. (v12)
2. The Jews had six days on which to work. (v13)
3. But the Sabbath is a day of rest. (v14)
4. This rest was not only for the Israelites but for their servants
and slaves, their house guests, and their livestock.
5. God told them why they should do this. (v15)
6. Part of the reason why they should remember this Sabbath is
because God rescued them from Egypt's oppression.
7. They knew what it was like to go without rest, therefore, they
should not keep these others from having their rest.

B. Concerning the sabbath year. (Deut. 15:12-18)
1. Sometimes the Jews might end up owning a fellow Jew as a slave. If
so, he is to only work for that fellow Jew for six years. (v12)
2. When that person is set free, he should not just be thrown out on
the street but supplied with livestock, grain, and wine. (v13-14)
3. Why should he do this? Because he too was once a slave in Egypt.
(v15; cf. Exod. 21:2)
4. Just as God has blessed the man, he should bless his brother who
he sets free. Remember that by God's blessing the Jews plundered the
Egyptians of treasure on their way out of Egypt.
5. If he does not want to leave, his ear should be pierced to show he
is forever bound. (v16-17)
6. The Jew was to be grateful that he had such a loving servant and
keep the command. (v18)

C. Concerning the Feast of Weeks. (Deut. 16:10-12)
1. The people are to celebrate by giving others an offering of their
own free will. (v10)
2. This shall be done in joy, not sorrow or compulsion. It shall be
enjoyed by the Jew's children, slaves and servants, the Levites,
strangers, and orphans and widows. (v11)
3. God again says the reason why to do this. (v12)
4. Each of these person is weak in some way. The children are usually
dependent, the servants, the Levites, the orphans, and the widows are
at the Jew's mercy.

III. The Fourth And Fifth Times God Says This.

A. Concerning justice due to others. (Deut. 24:17-18)
1. There are times in life when the Jew had the ability in his hand
to give justice. (v17)
2. When that opportunity arises, he was to take it and do right,
especially knowing that some were weak and did not have the ability he
3. He was not, for example, to take a window's garment in pledge but
to let her keep it, simply giving her what she needed as a gift.
4. As God redeemed them, they should act. (v18)

B. Concerning mercy for others. (Deut. 24:19-22)
1. When he reaps, he is to leave them for strangers, widows, &
orphans. (v19; cf. Lev. 19)
2. If he does this, he will be blessed by God.
3. The same is true for the olive trees. (v20)
4. The same is true for the vineyard. (v21)
5. God reminds them why they do this. (v22)
6. These are examples of mercy, not the limits of mercy to be shown
to the weak.


IV. How Should We Apply This?

A. Remember that we were slaves of sin. (Jno. 8:34)
1. We were slaves of sin because we each sinned.
2. God is not simply concerned for oxen! These are principles that
apply to us too. (1 Cor. 9:9)

B. Remember that God led us out of this slavery.
1. Just as God redeemed us from slavery in sin, we should be thankful
and redeem others.
2. God does not want us to return to the previous evil lifestyle so
he reminds us in his word.

C. Let us show sympathy and empathy to sinners.
1. Recognition that we were once slaves to sin should endear our
hearts to those who are in sin.
2. We should not accept sin, should not participate with it, we
should expose it, but we should remember that as God loved us while he
hated our sinful lifestyles, God also loves other sinners.
3. Our ability to forgive others and show them sympathy, justice, and
mercy will determine God's mercy shown to us. (Luk. 11:4)

D. Remember that if now strong, we were weak.
1. We do not need law to tell us to be merciful, gracious, kind, &
loving to those weaker than us.
2. We have the example of God to follow in this.
3. Just as we are at God's mercy and he does good for us, we are to
do good for those at our mercy.
4. If we do this, we will also be blessed by God.

By Sam Stinson

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