“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release.
If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.
And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise.”
[[Deuteronomy 15:1-2, 12, 16-17]]
In the Hebrew tradition, men were cleared of their debts and slaves from their bondage every seventh year. If the slaves desired to remain in their master’s homes, they became bondservants for the length of their lives – however long that might be.
I feel as though this past year, this sixth year has been a preparation for freedom.
On April 21, 1999, I surrendered my life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, taking what I had long accepted as truth taught by my parents and applying it to my life as my own faith.
And the past six years, I feel as though I have been struggling to repay a debt by serving my God – a debt I know I can never repay and, so, I work all the more for my Master’s glory rather than my own freedom.
But I have been set free, as the slaves in Israel were in the seventh year, and now I have made my choice to stay behind and to continue in serving my Master and His household because I have grown to love them, even as a slave.
What blessedness to see the last of the chains of a debt I could not settle being stripped of me in the past six years!
Depression, unhealthy relationships, self-reliance, a misguided heart, a lack of understanding about the type of man my Master is (His sovereignty, especially), rebellion and old wounds have all fallen away – there is nothing left but freedom and love for the Master who taught me that life could be lived abundantly in serving someone greater than myself.
And I return to this Master, who allows me to keep what I have gained in His household only if I remain within it – outside of it, there is no peace, no joy, no truth and no semblance of that real love, agape, which never drops off.
The awl has gone through my ear and I am my Master’s servant forever.
I could never pay my debt, but it matters not, for it is canceled – I have learned that the reason I work is because my Master loves me, not because I desire to earn His love.
How beautiful the grace of God that brings salvation to all men!
I, Alyssa Kate, am a bondservant of Christ until the end of my days. I have tasted and seen the grace of God Almighty – I have been shown mercy and have been released from my debts and my chains. Praise the Lord!