Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Psalms 119:121 – 128 (NIV) I have done what is righteous and just; do not leave me to my oppressors. Ensure your servant’s well-being; let not the arrogant oppress me. My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise. Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. It is time for you to act, O LORD; your law is being broken. Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.
Music has always been an important part of my life. When our children were growing up it was an important part of our family. Our favorite children’s music was sung by a big blue talking songbook named Psalty. He had three children – Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm. I loved Rhythm. Our kids were involved in performing Psalty musicals in church. Guess who got to play Psalty. Yep! I did. I was dressed in a big blue box painted to look like a songbook. It was so much fun.
I can still remember many of those great kids songs. The best thing about Psalty songs was that their message was for adults too. They taught true Biblical values and character. One of them we still sing occasionally in church today. It goes like this:
Make me a servant, humble and meek
Lord let me lift up those who are weak
And may the prayer of my heart always be
Make me a servant
Make me a servant
Make me a servant today.
Three times in today’s Psalm the author refers to himself as a servant of God. A servant is defined in its simplest form as one who works for another. It can mean either forced labor or voluntary labor. When servants were more popularly known as slaves, the labor was forced. At least in our culture that type of forced labor has become illegal. We learned that forced labor destroys dignity and denies liberty. In contrast to that, true liberty motivates voluntary service. He who has been truly set free becomes a voluntary servant of the one who granted liberty.
Prior to being elected President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln abhorred slavery. One day he went to a slave auction. He bid on a young woman and bought her. As they walked away from the town square, he said to her, “You may go. You are free.” She didn’t know what that meant, so she asked Mr. Lincoln, “Do you mean I am free to go anywhere I want to go?” He replied that she was. “Do you mean I am free to do whatever I want to do?” Again Mr. Lincoln said yes. “And do you mean I am free to be whatever I want to be?” Once more he said yes. Her response startled him. “Then I choose to go with you and be your servant.”
True freedom is found in serving the one who provided our liberty. To understand that completely we must first appreciate our freedom. The awesome grace of God that has been applied to our lives to set us free from the bondage of the law and sin and death cannot be over-estimated or over-emphasized. Those who minimize it are not truly free. Those who are not truly free still serve themselves in an effort to attain freedom.
But those who know and fully appreciate the marvel of mercy and the greatness of grace become servants of God who paid the full price for our freedom in His Son Jesus. We no longer serve ourselves, or demand to be served by others. We have been transformed by the nature of the Ultimate Servant who said, “The Son of man has come not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” We are now servants of God, and our voluntary labor is to serve others.
So, take off the old garments of self-serving sin, and put on your big blue box. Join me on the stage of the world and sing the song of joy that comes from your liberated heart – Make me a servant, humble and meek…