Body piercing has become pretty much acceptable just in the last ten years. Studs are placed in a hole or piercing to make a permanent decoration. I have seen a fair amount of it, and I think that a stud in the tongue has got to be the most intrusive. (I recently read of a young girl who died after her tongue was pierced from an infection).
There is “body piercing” in scripture. In Deuteronomy 15:12-18, slaves who are being set free by their master after six years of service, could, if they loved and were loved by their master, could choose to remain a slave to him.
“But if your slave says to you, “I don’t want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and has a good life with you,17 stick an awl through his ear into the door; he will be your slave for life. Also do this to a female slave.”
This was a decision that required elders to act as witnesses. It was significant as well as completely binding. I like to think of the ceremony to be kind of a cross between a wedding and a circumcision. (Sounds fun, huh?!)
The slave would be led to a doorpost and the master would take an awl, and push it through his ear lobe. This designated the slave to be forever “owned” by a specific master. Herein lies a picture of the Christian.
Many times in the New Testament we are called to be servants (slaves) of Christ.
Peter, Paul, James, and Jude referred to themselves as “bond servants of Jesus Christ” in their epistles. This is not a forced servitude. It’s a choice made in love!
There are many believers who have done the same, they have fallen in love with their Savior. They do not plan on a life apart from Him. So spiritually they have gone to the doorpost, the awl is pushed through their ear, and they are marked from that point on.
Although the ear was pierced physically in the Old Testament, a different kind of piercing takes place in the New. In Romans 6:16 we read,
“Surely you know that when you give yourselves like slaves to obey someone, then you are really slaves of that person. The person you obey is your master. You can follow sin, which brings spiritual death, or you can obey God, which makes you right with him.”
Romans 6:16, (NCV)
When the prodigal son returned home from the far country he fell before his father and humbly ask, “make me your servant.” (Luke 15:19,21) He, in essence, was saying to the father, “pierce my ear.” The father made him a son, but the attitude of the son’s heart had changed to the heart of a servant. So it must be with us. Only then will we live a “pierced ear” life, revealing to all that we are servants of Jesus Christ!
“Savior, I know Thou hast allowed me absolute liberty, to serve Thee, or to go my own way. I would serve Thee forever, for I love my Master. I will not go out free. Mark my ear, Lord, that it might respond only to Thy voice.”
— Jim Elliot, Missionary and Martyr