Being of Service: Behar-Bechukotai: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

“you’re gonna have to serve somebody”

bob dylan

bob dylan’s gospel classic “gotta serve somebody” craftily lists a variety of individuals-some with power and prestige- with the reminder that there is a higher power that must be reckoned with. the song, composed during dylan’s christianity phase, presents the choice of service to either the devil or the lord.

in the torah portion, behar-bechukotai, the master of the universe declares that “for the children of israel are servants to me; they are my servants, whom i took out of the land of egypt. i am the lord, your god.” leviticus 25:55.

this ancient positive portrayal of service is worthy of a vision through modern eyes. for those who were taken out of bondage, they were promptly reminded that freedom’s cost meant being subject to the master of the universe and his instructions. these instructions were geared towards achieving lives filled with success. in contrast, within the modern socialistic framework, there is a world of only the oppressors and the oppressed; notions of service carry with it a negative connotation.

the god-children of israel relationship demonstrates that master-servant relationships are of mutual benefit. the master of universe took a people to promulgate messages of human decency. in turn, they received an eternal relationship with the master and creator of the universe. he provided their lives full of meaning.

mr. dylan’s lyrics translate into the post- mt. sinai world. he paints a picture of the multitude of human beings defined by both station in life and conduct. regardless, they all remain subject to a higher power. likewise, as the children of israel dispersed to reside in four corners of the planet, they too remain servants to a higher power. dylan laundry list of individuals spells out how service to a higher power is a universal concept.

in sum, for those in charge, service to a greater power is liberating as their is someone else who can ensure that there is not outbreak of chaos. for those in need, service means that they are not alone as the most powerful has a watchful eye towards them.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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