February 15

Exodus 21:5-6 5"But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' 6then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

The Israelites had a very humane and self-respecting way of dealing with financial difficulty. If you could not make ends meet, you could sell yourself as a slave for a seven-year period. Very clear laws protected the way you were to be treated. During the seven years you would have food and shelter. At the end of the time, you were set free with resources to begin again.

If you chose to stay with your master, if you found that place to be more suited to you than the outside world, you could give yourself as a lifelong slave to your master. Some slaves found their master to be kind and generous, and life in their service was much more secure and meaningful than struggling to make a way for themselves.

When one decided to do this, his or her master would take the slave to the door of the home. Their right ear would be pierced with an awl to the doorpost. The person would then be a lifelong bondservant. Why pierce the right ear? The door represents the entrance and exit to the home. Now their ear is to be attentive to the needs in this home, attending to its needs alone.

Several of the writers of the New Testament refer to themselves as a love-servant of Jesus Christ. They had given themselves for life to have their ear attentive to the needs of the heavenly home. They would no longer consider a life outside in their own house but now turn all their attention to the directions given them in their new home.

Consider: Have you become a bondservant of Jesus? There is no better Master and no more meaningful service. Is your ear His?