Waiting expectantly is difficult for me. And yet that is just what makes a good servant. A good servant waits for orders that may come as a slight gesture of the hand or as the nod of the head or as a smile or frown. I am told that servants in Middle and Far Eastern countries are often guided by hand gestures. A good servant knows how to wait expectantly so that when an order is given, the servant is ready.
Some have supposed that this psalmist was actually dealing with servants who were guilty of disobedience and who were waiting for the master to indicate that they were pardoned. Others think that the servants in the above verse were waiting on the master for their own provisions. It is true that the Israelites who sang this song were waiting on the Lord to show them mercy. This psalm may have been sung as they went up to the feasts at Jerusalem, but it is more likely that it was written during their time in captivity in Babylon.
Apparently, the children of Israel felt like they were being treated badly by those who had it good. It appears that they were servants to men, but in this psalm they see themselves as servants of God. They knew that if God was their Master, then He would change their fortunes and treat them well. But whatever happened, they were waiting for the Master to beckon before they responded.
This world is a taskmaster to us and wants to keep us in bondage. Before we are saved, the world looks like a source of great pleasure. We want to make our own decisions and live life our own way. But like the prodigal son in Luke 15, we find out that the world wants nothing to do with a person once it has robbed him of his wealth, his health and his place in the Father’s house. After we are saved, we realize that being a servant in the Father’s house is a lot better than feeding swine in the world (Lk. 15:19).
Why is it so easy to trust the lies of the world and so hard to trust the truth of the Scripture? Why does the world seem so appealing to us when true blessing is found in serving the Lord? Why do we who are saved find ourselves making our own decisions rather than letting the Lord make them for us? It didn’t work before we were saved, and it certainly won’t work afterward.
Being a trusted servant is a position of honor and respect in the Bible. Nehemiah was the king’s wine tester who rose to become the governor of the Jewish remnant that returned to the Promised Land. Joseph was a servant in Potiphar’s house who became a servant to Pharaoh. As his servant, he ruled Egypt and became the savior of the people of Israel during a time of famine.
Sometimes life looks hopeless; but as Christians we need to remember whose servants we are. We, who were once the servants of sin, are now the servants of God (Rom. 6:22). He is the One we look to for provision and guidance, the One we stand ready to serve. There are times when we seem to be doing a lot of waiting, but that’s all right as long as we are not sleeping (Rom. 13:11). We need to stand ready to serve our Lord, ready for His call, ready for His blessing, and ready when He returns.
By Bruce Collins
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org