People are being kidnapped from their home countries and sold on the black market to wealthy people to serve as servants in their homes. It is known as Human Trafficking. Brokers advertise helping people trying to get into a place like the United States and then hold them hostage. Did you know that in the Old Testament, people would sell themselves into slavery, and by choosing to serve, they decided to stay permanently?
“But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.”
A Better Situation
Slaves could choose to stay with their masters. In Israel, most slaves had term limits. They were working off debts or something of that nature, and at the end of that time, they were free to go. It was often better to stay with the master than go out alone. Most of the time, the slave had become trusted by the family, had a place to live, and had good food to eat. Those weren’t guaranteed when they went out on their own. So many slaves decided to serve their masters permanently. They marked that decision by putting a wooden awl in the ear.
I know slavery is a taboo subject and what happened in the United States was horrific. The selling of any human is wrong. The Bible does not advocate slavery at all. What this passage is talking about is indentured servants. They needed to pay a debt or serve a term for a crime. At the end of that term, they decided to stay as servants of the master. The living arrangements were better than before, and they usually became like family to their masters.
Choosing to Serve
The practical application for us today is that we are servants of the most high God. It is our choice to serve. We are free to go and do our thing anytime we wish, but it will always be better if we stay. Jesus became a man and lowered himself to the point of a servant. He could’ve rightfully come as a king, but He chose to serve. Instead of taking a wooden awl in His ear, He took a wooden cross and a metal spike in His hands and feet.