Designed to Serve

Exodus 12:25-28  “And when you come to the land that YHWH will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the YHWH’s Pesach, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.”

“Service” is rooted in the Hebrew verb abad (Strongs H5647), and when used as a noun it often means servant or slave.   Considering how Exodus is focused on freeing Israel from slavery, you’d think it would be commonly used, but it’s only used once in Exodus before our Pesach context, here in the introduction to the book.  Exodus 1:14, “…and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field.  In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.”   

This word was chosen to show the contrast of YHWH’s Pesach service to the HARD service we’ve been freed from.   Redemption is simply a trade from one service to another, from being a slave to sin to being a slave to YHWH.  At no point do humans ever belong to themselves.  We are not designed nor destined to serve ourselves.    

Genesis 2:15, “YHWH God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to serve it and protect it.”   After man sinned “…YHWH God sent him out from the garden of Eden to serve the ground from which he was taken.”  (Genesis 3:23)

A child is designed to serve his parents, grandparents, and siblings.  And as they become more able, the list grows to neighbors, and through their obedience their teachers and employers.  As they mature and marry, the focus shifts to their spouse, and grows to include their own children.   Even as their children mature, the role of parents and grandparents is to continue to serve their larger family not by but by continuing to model service as a lifestyle.  YHWH is not our servant, but worshipping Him involves acts of service that flow through us, but never ever end with us.

Contrast that Kingdom truth with self-service promoted by the world.   Every advertisement and political campaign is meant to manipulate individuals to not just to focus on self–but to be dissatisfied with self.  Once we are dissatisfied with self, then the world can sell us that missing satisfaction.  The three temptations that Satan tempted Yeshua with were hedonism, egoism, and materialism.   These are described in  1 John 2:16, as “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of possessions — is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 

The world claims that having a good self-esteem is foundational to a happy life, but as Messiah says in Luke 18:19, “No one is good except God alone.”  Our “self-esteem” is automatically defective if we aren’t embracing YHWH as our Father, and then entering into the aforementioned required cycle of service.   Once we minimize self, rather than focus upon it, we leave YHWH on His throne and simply simply become conduits of his goodness.   However we “feel” about our gender, our sexuality, our “looks” (including race or beauty), our wealth, or our status, Pesach is when we put those preferences upon the Lamb, and then put that Lamb to death.  From the next morning forward, we are left selfless, and only our service to YHWH remains a priority (through joyfully and willingly serving others).

When our children ask “What do you mean about this service?”, it’s our opportunity to ensure that the next generation picks up the mantel of selflessness and servitude.  If that transfer fails, the family tree begins to wither, the fruit will shrink and eventually it’ll need to be pruned.   John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”  We either prune our lives of selfishness, or YHWH will do it for us to protect the entire plant.  If it’s done correctly, Paul describes the results well, Romans 11:16, “If the dough offered as first-fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.” 

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