Pierce my ear, is one of my favorite “worship songs.” It is very popular among our youth today, it is a song that is commonly sung at youth rallies, camps, and retreats. Recently I was asked to bring a lesson at a winter retreat over the topic. I have since been asked to put that lesson in writing, so, here is the short version 🙂
Pierce my ear
O Lord my God
Take me to your door this day
I will serve, no other God
Lord I’m here to stay.
For you have paid
The price for me
With your blood, you ransomed me
I will serve, you eternally
A free man I’ll never be.
This song has some deep Biblical roots. As was mentioned in the last post, we are wanting to take a deeper look at some of the songs that we sing in our worship to God Almighty. I’m afraid that many times we simply go through the motions in our worship. Our mouths are moving, words are coming out, but our hearts are far away from God (Matt 15:8) Let us examine just a few things about this song, and it’s origins.
Exodus 21:1-6- “Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”
This song was taken from this old testament passage. We see that a slave after serving for the set amount of time, could go out free. They could be whoever they wanted to be. They could develop their own career, start a new family, travel, they could live like they had only dreamed about, while being in slavery. However the slaves had a choice. They were not forced to go out away from their masters at the end of their time served. They could choose to stay with their master. If they chose to stay with their master, their master would “pierce their ear” as a sign that this slave, belonged to them forever.
How often have we mouthed the words to this beautiful song, without thinking of the commitment that we are making to our God? When we sing those words, we are telling our God, that we are “selling ourselves” into permanent slavery. We will never leave Him, we will never be free, we will never be able to leave His presence. He IS our master! And our entire purpose is to do His will in our life. “Slave” is such a bad word in our world today. It carries multiple negative connotations. Paul did not have a problem reminding Christians that we are to consider ourselves as slaves.(1 corinthians 7:22-23)
In this beautiful song, in the second verse, we find the phrase “for you have paid, the price for me”
As a child, I was informed numerous times that when I was “old” and had children of my own, then I would truly understand the love (John 3:16) that God had for me. Now that I have a little girl, and another baby on the way… I would love to say that I now understand the love that God has for me, but that is simply not the case. I am more confused now, than ever before. As I hold my baby girl, see her smile at me as she says “da da” I cannot even fathom the love that my heavenly father must have for me. To send his only son, to DIE for me, a sinner. Maybe that was what was intended by the “one day you will understand” statements. I now understand, that I will NEVER “understand” the depth of love that God has for me.
“I will serve, you eternally, a free man I’ll never be”
When we sing this phrase, do we truly mean what we are saying? Do we mean to tell our Father, that every minute of everyday for the rest of my life, and for all eternity I will be in service to Him, not myself? Do I mean it when I say, “A free man I’ll never be” Lord, I will no longer place my will, my priorities, or my “wants” a above yours? Do I mean it when I sing “I will serve no other God’s” Lord, I will never allow money to take your place in my life. Lord, I will never miss an opportunity to worship you because of a sporting event. Lord, you and you alone, are my God.
It is my hope, my aim, and my prayer that we will all take a true hard “self examining” look as we worship our God. May we put an end to the days when worship is “That thing we do on Sunday’s” and let us begin the days when worship is our way of life.