Who are you serving? For what are you living?
Often we develop goals, entertain passions, find a hobby or work to provide the next meal. Our mindsets rarely extend beyond our physical desires, the next vacation or perhaps, if we are “big thinkers”, what we want out of life. But those who like to philosophize and analyze our culture would say that we are enslaved to our luxury, our toys, our stuff.
What do you want out of life?
Is it about you? Or is it about God?
“If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. It shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also you shall do likewise to your maidservant.”
– Deut 15.12-17
God gave very clear instructions about most every aspect of life for the Hebrew people as they entered into the land that He gave them as an inheritance. This teaching is about the “bond servant”. Servanthood is not despised in Scripture, rather clear instructions for how to be a servant and how to have servants are outlined. And God gives this example that when one lives in another’s house, he can choose to remain forever instead of being set free at the end of 7 years. This was a good deal! If one was destitute he could voluntarily serve a wealthy man for seven years and be furnished liberally at the end – this would ensure him a job, place to live and food while serving and material gain when he is set free. But sometimes the servants would love their masters and their jobs such that they would desire to stay on forever. They would then be called a bondservant – one who has chosen to serve forever and is marked by the awl through his ear. He trusted his master to provide, he was happy to serve and live in the household.
We are given this picture, in part, to teach us of our relationship to God. When we come to salvation, we become servants of God. We submit ourselves to Him, to His authority and to His leadership forever because we love Him!
We should, therefore, no longer be primarily concerned about ourselves but about our master. His desires, His instructions, His agendas. If we have submitted ourselves as bondservants, we understand our sustenance to come from Him. We understand our housing, our blessings, our families, our success to be truly His and not our own, and we seek to better and further His household because in doing so we consequently better our own situation.
Do you serve God? Or do you want Him to serve you?
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
– Joshua 24.15