In Deuteronomy 15:12-18, slaves who are being set free by their master after six years of service, could, if they loved and were loved by their master, could choose to remain a slave to him forever.
“But if your slave says to you, “I don’t want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and has a good life with you, stick an awl through his ear into the door; he will be your slave for life. Also, do this to a female slave.”
Deuteronomy 15:12-18, (Exodus 21:6)
This was a decision that required elders to act as witnesses. It was significant as well as entirely binding. I like to think of the ceremony as a cross between a wedding and circumcision. (Sounds like fun!)
The slave would be led to a doorpost and the master would take an awl, and push it through his ear lobe. This designated the slave to be forever “owned” by a specific master. The slave would then wear an earring to remind everyone who they were. Herein lies a picture of the consecrated Christian.
Many times in the New Testament people called themselves bondservants of Christ.
Peter, Paul, James, and Jude each referred to themselves as “bondservants of Jesus Christ” to open up their epistles. An example:
(“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”)
This is not a forced servitude. This a choice made from love!
There are many believers who have done the same, they have fallen in love with their Savior. They do not plan on a life apart from Him. They’ve decided they won’t serve anyone else. So spiritually they have gone to the doorpost, the awl is pushed through their ear, and they are marked from that point on.
Although the ear was pierced physically in the Old Testament, a spiritual kind of piercing takes place in the New. We see glimmers of that decision,
“Surely you know that when you give yourselves like slaves to obey someone, then you are really slaves of that person. The person you obey is your master. You can follow sin, which brings spiritual death, or you can obey God, which makes you right with him.”
Romans 6:16, (NCV)
Just a thought. When the prodigal son returned home from the far country he fell before his father and humbly asked, “make me your servant” (Luke 15:19, 21). He, in essence, was saying to the father, “pierce my ear.” The father made him a son, but the attitude of the son’s heart had changed into the heart of a bondservant. So it must be with us.
We each will have a chance to live out a “pierced ear life.“
Perhaps it’s then will we’ll truly hear His voice in a new and clearer way. Maybe this is the next step we should take. It’s not demanded, or required. Sometimes hearing Him can be a challenge, but the Father delights in this. He will share with you what’s on His heart.
“Savior, I know Thou hast allowed me absolute liberty, to serve Thee, or to go my own way. I would serve Thee forever, for I love my Master. I will not go out free. Mark my ear, Lord, that it might respond only to Thy voice.”
— Jim Elliot, Missionary, and Martyr