“Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.”
The Psalmist compares the way he looks to the Lord, to the way a servant looks to a master. If we are going to understand the comparison, we need to consider how a servant would look to a master. It seems to me, one word would describe it best. A servant looks to his master obediently. The role of the servant is to do the will of the master, and in order to do that, he must look to the master for instruction and respond with obedience. The servant does not have the right to argue with the master, nor the time to complain about how unfair his task, in light of what the other servants are doing. The servant obeys.
The Psalmist is not the only Bible writer to compare himself to a servant. One of Paul’s favorite terms to describe himself was servant. I imagine that if you and I were attending our high school reunion, we would not brag to others, that after years of education, we had become servants. What is it that caused these men to be so thrilled, even honored, by the idea of being servants of the Lord? I think it has something to do with freedom.
The Psalmist understood it was God who had set Israel free. Their history was marked with bondage. They had been the slaves of Egypt, sitting under the threat of death, while being ruled by a harsh task master. They watched as the Egyptians beat their friends, and attempted to kill their children. They also watched, as God came to the rescue; overcoming the impossible and delivering them from the hand of their harsh task master. Later, Israel, again and again ,found themselves in bondage to their enemies. Throughout their history, their desire to be like the world around them, and their compromise with sin, led them into bondage. Time, and time again, they would compromise and fall, and God would intervene and rescue.
Paul understood that the same is true for the Christian. While we might not be the slaves of an Egyptian king, we are no less enslaved. When writing to the Romans, Paul declared, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked, that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18
Prior to coming to Christ, each of us was a slave of sin. As a result, we were missing out on the abundant life God intended for us to live, and we were on the fast track to eternal separation from God. On Calvary’s cross, freedom from sin was secured. Christ made the way for us to be set free from sin, and become the servant of righteousness. The celebration, of being a servant, is found in understanding that we were never free; we were once the slave of sin and death, and now we have become the slave of a holy and loving God, who desires the best for His children. The highest place you can ever attain in life, is that of a servant of Christ. Take some time right now to look to your Master. You will see His unfailing love and matchless grace. You will see his nail pierced hands and his unlimited power. You will see His ways are so much higher than your ways; and you will find, as you follow obediently after Him, you will experience life to the fullest.
Questions for Psalm 123
- How does a servant look to his master?
- What does that teach you about how to look to the Lord?
- Why does a soul serving the Lord need mercy?