"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8
Text: Exodus 21 : 6
A DEEP COMMITMENT
What may the slave do to express his desire to serve his master all his life? We have a beautiful description of how a person may become a bond-slave to his master, out of a most willing heart. The slave informs his master that he does not want to leave him, nor his wife and children. He wants to serve him all his life!
The wise master does not want to be misunderstood or misrepresented! He seeks the law to endorse his servant’s expressed wish.
“Then his master shall bring him to the judges.
He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost,
And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl;
and he shall serve him forever.”
1. “Then his master shall bring him to the judges”
The task of the judges would be to ascertain that the slave does indeed, out of his own freewill, desire to be a bond-slave! The plurality of judges would help ensure that no injustice is committed easily!
2. “His master shall pierce his ear with an awl”
The mark of a bondservant was a very clear and obvious one. The awl piercing the ear of the slave would mark him for life as a slave!
3. “And he shall serve him forever”
It must take a lot of love on the part of the slave to commit himself so deeply to his master! He was giving up his freedom! He was giving everything else that the future might hold for him- all for love of his master and his family! What a tremendous example of commitment!
THE IDEA OF A BONDSERVANT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The apostle Paul sometimes addressed himself as a ‘bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Cf. Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1). Being the scholar that he was, one wonders whether he could have applied this concept of being a bondservant to the Lord Jesus!
The concept of being a bondservant (a slave for life) was found in the word “doulos”. Slaves were bought and sold in the market place! Slaves could redeem themselves, for a hefty price. They could also be given away by their masters, or granted their freedom by the magnanimity of their owners. The word “doulos” described a person ranked as the lowest rungs of the social hierarchy! Yet, Paul used this word to describe his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! What love and devotion he must have had towards his Saviour and Lord! What a tremendous challenge for all believers to yield themselves out of love as bondservants of the Lord!