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Blood on the Doorpost of Heaven

A Facebook friend has publicly denied the Christian faith. He's the second one in a few years' time. Another young acquaintance has also declared himself an atheist. Over the years any number of Christian leaders whom I've respected have fallen into adultery. Even my spiritually faithful friends seem to be struggling in their convictions and interpersonal relationships. My personal windows give a rather bleak picture of the Christian landscape just now.

Come to think of it, this situation shouldn't be a surprise. Jesus warned that abounding iniquity will cause the love of many people to grow cold. While spiritual lawlessness is hardly new, it seems to run wild in this part of the world. In other words, iniquity abounds. It should come as no surprise that the love of many is growing cold. It is only logical that if many people cool off and fall away from God, I will know at least some of them.

It is against this backdrop of temptation and disloyalty that an Old Testament law governing slavery begins to take on new meaning. As a Christian, I am grateful that Jesus' teachings ultimately led the end of slavery, but I also realize that slavery has been a reality for much of history. Even in the hardness of the pre-Christian world, God gave laws that provided basic protections for slaves. For instance, female slaves typically wound up as inferior wives, so the Law protected them from being thrown out on the scrap heap of humanity once a master's romantic ardor failed. Male slaves were not used as wives, and the law stipulated they must be set free after seven years. The segment of the Law I'm thinking of dealt with the situation when a slave decided he didn't want to go free.

Apparently slavery occasionally turned out to be better than expected. As hard to understand as we freedom-loving Westerners may find it, some men came to the end of their seven year stints and didn't want to leave. Some masters proved so kind that God's law anticipated the day a man would say, “I love my master. I don't want to go free.” A brief but intense ceremony followed this decision. The master took an awl, a sharp tool for drilling holes, and pinned the man's ear to the doorpost of the master's house. Of course, people were piercing ears for other purposes, but in this case it meant someone had voluntarily signed on for life. He would have a hole in his earlobe to remind him. There would also be a blood-stained hole in the door of his master's home to remind the master.

This Old Testament practice reminds me that I have committed myself to Jesus Christ for all eternity. He may or may not ask me to serve in pleasant and joyful places. He may or may not give me the things I most desire on this earth. Serving Him may be hard or it may be easy. Other people may decide they don't love my Master and demand their freedom. Other people may rebel against Him or secretly reject His will. I'm past that. I have voluntarily sold myself body and soul to Jesus. Live or die, I belong to Him. My blood is on the doorpost of Heaven.

I love my Master. Don't come whining about the failings of some of His professed servants. I'll still be His. Don't tell me His service requires too much sacrifice. I've found His service better than my own. Don't entice me to reject His will. I've given myself to His will, and I've done it for all eternity. Run if you must. Disobey if you wish. Rebel if you insist. I won't join you. I have sold myself body and soul to Jesus Christ. In life and in death, I belong to Him. My blood is on the doorpost of Heaven.

No, physically speaking, I don't have any body piercings. I've never been close enough to the pearly gates to have an awl rammed through my ear and into their framework. I'm speaking spiritually, but I do belong to Jesus--forever. I have a permanent place in His house, just as sure as if I was tacked to the door frame. I've sold myself. I'm bought with a price. I'm not my own, but I love my Master, and I'm satisfied.

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