S182P9 – Characters in the Psalms: the self-aware servant

Psa. 123:1-2

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.

If you were to encounter a servant with his master, I would expect you to be able to tell who is who.  Some physical characteristics might give it away, such as how each one is dressed.  Their interactions should make it clear as one would be laboring for the other.  In conversation, their dialog would illustrate the hierarchy between them.  Depending on historical and cultural context, some servants might not be heard at all.  Every one of these things makes it clear to the servant what his place in the relationship is, and that is critical to his performance in that role.  One cannot serve well without understanding and accepting being in that position.

The good servant is vigilant to know what the master’s needs are and even anticipate them before they materialize.  These verses illustrate a servant whose eyes are perpetually on the master.  One reason is that the servant’s job is to meet those needs.  Another reason is that the servant is waiting for the master to give instruction and direction.  A lady-in-waiting does just that, she waits.  The servant must be prepared to follow the master’s lead, and that is when the quality of the master matters.  The benevolent master is trustworthy to lead the servant well.  That is the kind of master we have, and that is why our eyes must be perpetually on him.

We are in service to the best master there is.  He has his role, and we have ours.  We should not desire to be in his place or try to put him in ours.  To serve our master well, we must understand our role in the relationship.  Our service suffers when we fight against this power dynamic and try to put ourselves above where we are.  In doing so, we are trying to lower our God from his high position.  The good servants understand who they are in relationship to him, and they understand that there exists nothing good outside that relationship.  Father, make us a people who live to serve their master well, and give us joy in our position of service.