If you buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.…
We are going to use this as a type, and get some moral out of it:
1. And the first use is this. Men are by nature the slaves of sin. Some are the slaves of drunkenness, some of lasciviousness, some of covetousness, some of sloth; but there are generally times in men's lives when they have an opportunity of breaking loose. There will happen providential changes which take them away from old companions, and so give them a little hope of liberty, or there will come times of sickness, which take them away from temptation, and give them opportunities for thought. Above all, seasons will occur when conscience is set to work by the faithful preaching of the Word, and when the man pulls himself up, and questions his spirit thus: — "Which shall it be? I have been a servant of the devil, but here is an opportunity of getting free. Shall I give up this sin? Shall I pray God to give me grace to break right away, and become a new man; or shall I not?"
2. Our text reads us a second lesson, namely, this. In the forty-first Psalm, in the sixth verse, you will find the expression used by our Lord, or by David in prophecy personifying our Lord, "Mine ear hast thou opened," or Mine ear hast thou digged." Jesus Christ is here, in all probability, speaking of Himself as being for ever, for our sakes, the willing servant of God. Will you not say, "Let my ear be bored to His service, even as His ear was digged for me"?
I. First, let us speak upon our CHOICE OF PERPETUAL SERVICE.
1. The first thing is, we have the power to go free if we will.
2. We have not the remotest wish to do so.
3. We are willing to take the consequences. The boring of our ear is a special pain, but both ears are ready for the aul. The Lord's service involves peculiar trials, for He has told us, "Every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it." Are we willing to take the purging?
II. Now, secondly, OUR REASONS FOR IT. A man ought to have a reason for so weighty a decision as this. What reasons can we give for such decided language?
1. We can give some reasons connected with Himself. The servant in our text who would not accept his liberty, said, "I love my master." Can we say that? The servant in our text, who would not go free, plainly declared that he loved his wife, so that there are reasons connected not only with his Master, but with those in his Master's house, which detain each servant of Jesus in happy bondage. Some of us could not leave Jesus, not only because of what He is, but because of some that are very dear to us who are in His service. How could I leave my mother's God? Besides, let me add, there are some of us who must keep to Christ, because we have children in His family whom we could not leave — dear ones who first learned of Christ from us.
2. There are reasons also why we cannot forsake our Lord which arise out of ourselves; and the first is that reason which Peter felt to be so powerful. The Master said, "Will ye also go away?" Peter answered by another question. He said, "Lord, to whom shall we go?"
3. And why should we go? Can you find any reason why we should leave Jesus Christ? Can you imagine one?
4. And when should we leave Him if we must leave Him? Leave Him while we are young? It is then that we need Him to be the guide of our youth. Leave Him when we are in middle life? Why, then it is we want Him to help us to bear our cross, lest we sink under our daily load. Leave Him in old age? Ah, no! It is then we require Him to cheer our declining hours. Leave Him in life? How could we live without Him? Leave Him in death? How could we die without Him? No, we must cling to Him; we must follow Him whithersoever He goeth.
III. In the last place, I WANT TO BORE YOUR EAR. Do you mean to be bound for life? Christians, do you really mean it? Come, sit ye down and count the cost.
1. And, first, let them be bored with the sharp awl of the Saviour's sufferings. No story wrings a Christian's heart with such anguish as the griefs and woes of Christ. The bleeding Lamb enthralls me. I am His, and His for ever. That is one way of marking the ear.
2. Next, let your ear be fastened by the truth, so that you are determined to hear only the gospel. The gospel ought to monopolize the believer's ear.
3. Furthermore, if you really give yourself to Christ, you must have your ear opened to hear and obey the whispers of the Spirit of God, so that you yield to His teaching, and to His teaching only.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.