Monday, March 21, 2011

THE MARK OF THE BONDSERVANT

David, the psalmist, said, "Mine ear hast thou digged [pierced]" (see Psalm 40:6). This may well be interpreted as meaning, “Thou hast accepted me as thy slave," an allusion to the custom of masters boring the ear of a slave who refused his offered freedom (see Exodus 21:6). In other words, "There is a hole in my ear that marks me for the Lord, for life and eternity." Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to dig in your ear?

What marked the bondservant is that he pledged himself to give wholly of his time in service to his master. There is nothing mystical about this way of living. It begins with a commitment to give the Lord the best of our time and is worked out practically in everyday life!

This is not to suggest we should all quit our jobs and careers to enter full-time ministry. Too many nowadays are getting out of God's will by going out presumptuously, leaving the responsibilities of raising a family and pulling up roots to “go out by faith.” The greater thing is to stay put and give the Lord more quality time where you are. It is a matter of putting Christ at the center of everything, so that family, job, and all things revolve around him. Christ becomes the focus of our thoughts and we spend time in his presence, hearing his voice, obeying his commands.

The bondservant is more a giving rather than a taking soul. With Paul, he can say, "I have determined to know nothing among us save Christ and him crucified." This servant is not interested in serving for reward or personal gain. His wages are the glory and honor he bestows on his Master. The true bondservant who is committed to lifelong service is marked by the Lord in some special way. You can't miss this servant because he bears in his body the marks of his Master.

What marks the bondservant in this day and age? It is clearly revealed in the Word as the mark of a broken, contrite spirit that weeps over the abominations done against his Lord. Our Master does not drill the ear with an awl, but breaks the heart with his hammer.

"And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezekiel 9:3-4).

Another mark on this bondservant is a circumcision made without hands. This speaks of total separation from the world and unto Christ. It means that all self-made plans, schemes, and dreams are abandoned, and the concerns and burdens of the Lord become supreme.