Pierce my ear

Good afternoon – My wife Marsha and I bring greetings from the Glen Allen Church of Christ in Richmond, Virginia. We started making plans to visit with you about a year ago and we are happy to be here today.

Daniel, Tammy, and the girls have welcomed us into their home and we’ve enjoyed their hospitality and Christian fellowship very much. This is our first visit to France, and we have found all the people here to be very nice and friendly toward us.

You may already know that members of the Glen Allen Church pray for you each week during our worship services, but you might not be aware that many of us also pray for you every day during our personal prayers. God has blessed you, and God has blessed us with the knowledge of your faithfulness and determination to follow the teachings of Jesus the Christ, our Lord.

I have been a Christian for 38 years, and Marsha has been a Christian for 37 years. I obeyed the Gospel at the age of 19, and she obeyed the Gospel about one year later, also at the age of 19. During these 38 years, we’ve studied the Bible on our own, we have sat in many Bible classes, and heard many sermons from various pulpits in the United States and other countries. It would seem logical that, that since we have opened the Bible that many times to study it, there would NOT be a passage that we could look at each other and say, “I wasn’t aware that this passage is in the Bible”. But that is exactly what we did on November 5th of this year when Tommy South presented a sermon to the Glen Allen Church entitled: Bought with a Price. I’ll not be able to cover all the points of that sermon in the same way as Tommy presented them, but I want to share some of that message with you this afternoon. Will you ask God to bless this lesson as we endeavor to honor Him and strengthen ourselves through a close look at several passages found in His Word the Bible.

I’ve asked Daniel to read two passages, one found in Exodus 19 and one found in Exodus 21.

The setting for these readings is the desert of Sinai. God has delivered the Children of Israel from the Egyptians, He is ready to accept them as His chosen people. He is also prepared to offer the Children of Israel the opportunity to become His “special treasure”, His chosen people, His Holy Nation, and as we will see in the reading they are ready to accept God’s offer. We will not take the time to read chapter 20, where the Lord explains the 10 commandments and cautions the Children of Israel about His holiness and the danger of making idols. After Daniel reads chapter 19:1-8 he will read chapter 21:1-6 as our main lesson text.

First, let’s listen to Daniel read Exodus 19:1-8

  1. In the 3rd month after the Children of Israel had gone out of the Land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai.
  2. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Desert of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.
  3. And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Children of Israel:
  4. You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
  5. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a Special Treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
  6. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the Children of Israel.
  7. So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him
  8. Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.

So with this reading, the LORD has made this great offer to Israel to be His special/chosen people, and they have accepted. Now we know that, as things turned out later on, they were not perfect in their obedience to God, but at this point anyway, they certainly have made the decision to follow God to the best of their abilities. After they make this decision to be obedient and to become God’s people, as recorded in chapter 20, God explains through Moses just how He expects them to keep the 10 commandments as part of their obedience to Him.

Now, let’s notice in the READING of Exodus 21:1-6 that God is explaining the rights of the people – and, I find it interesting that the rights of SLAVES are the first area of discussion.
[Daniel continues the reading in French]

  1. Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them:
  2. If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six ears; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.
  3. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
  4. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out by himself.
  5. But if the servant plainly says, I LOVE MY MASTER, MY WIFE, and MY CHILDREN; I WILL NOT GO OUT FREE.
  6. Then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him FOREVER.

When we read these passages, we may see parallels between them and the message of Grace and Christian obedience found throughout our New Testament. Let me list some of the parallels:
1. The LORD made a great offer to Israel to become His Holy Nation and kingdom, not because they deserved this honor, but because He chose to do so, by His grace. 1. 1st Peter 2:9 indicates that Christians are “Royal Priesthood and a Holy Nation, God’s own special people – we are “special” only because of the perfect blood of Christ; we did not/do not deserve/earn this special consideration; it comes to us by God’s grace.
2. Israel accepted God’s offer of Grace to them, but were not perfect in their obedience; there were times later on when they completely departed from God to serve the idols of the land of Canaan. 2. Christians accept God’s offer to us, but we are not perfect in our obedience – reference 1st John 1:6-10. We fail often. Rev 2:10 talks about faithfulness, not perfection.
3. The slave could make a decision based on love to remain a slave and stay with his master FOREVER. That decision was manifested to the world by the pierced ear. 3. Christians make the decision to obey God and remain with Christ as His servant FOREVER. That decision is manifested to the world by our confession, baptism, and the new life we live.
4. The decision to remain as a slave with the master forever required an action – piercing of the ear. 4. The decision to become and remain a servant of Christ’s forever requires actions – reference Hebrews 2:8-9.

Two readings to close this lesson:

1st Corinthians 6:19-20

19. . . . do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20. FOR YOU WERE BOUGHT AT A PRICE; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Titus 2:11-14 Comment after reading – why didn’t God just take us on home to be with Him as soon as we obeyed? This passage makes that clear. We are to be His faithful people, His special people, ready to do good works after the pattern set forth for us by Christ. Daniel will now read the words to the song Pierce My Ear in French and lead us in the singing of that song.