David has given us many reasons WHY our Lord is to be loved. In cliff note version He is to be loved for His hearing ear and for His saving hand. David has also given us a good picture of HOW our Lord is to be loved - through prayer and praise. The two groups truly wed well. If God is listening we should be speaking. If God is saving we should be thanking Him. The natural reactions to a hearing ear and a saving hand are a praying tongue and a thankful heart!
It seems that verses 16-19 are a further portrait of what our rendering response to God's gracious goodness looks like.
Before I dig in to that please keep in mind just who David is. This is the king, the warrior, the musician - the man!! He has many amazing titles and many awesome roles. However, what role does David glory in the most? Psalm 116 gives us a glimpse.
"O LORD, surely I am thy servant."
David was a king over Israel but his greatest calling was that of a servant to the most high God!! We see the sons of Korah express this same idea of glorious servanthood in Psalm 84 when they write: "For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness" (vs 10).
Friends, do you delight in being a servant of the Lord? Is that the title you hold most dear? Is being in His service the role you are most grateful for? Would you rather be His bond-slave than your own master?
During those times a person became a servant in one of two ways. He was born a servant - "I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid." Or he was made a servant through the act of redemption from another master - "I am Thy servant, Thou hast loosed my bonds."
I couldn't help but be struck with just how beautifully that mirrors our own salvation.
First we have a picture of the covenant. Here is one born into the service of the King. How I pray that the words of David "I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid" will be the words of my children. That they will never know a day when the Lord Jesus Christ was not their master. Yes, that they will recognize their sin and their need for a Savior - but that it will be through covenantal conviction and not from wicked wandering.
Second we have a picture of the ingrafting grace that comes from the mercies of a seeking, searching and saving God. Christ came to set captives free. He came to seek and save that which was lost. He came to loose our bonds of sin and bind us to the freeing grace of righteousness. Matthew Henry alludes to the fact that the very bonds that Christ has loosed shall bind us all the closer to Him. He who has set us free is precious and we want to be in His courts and in His service.
Oh how good it is to be His servant. Do you know that goodness? Do you know the delight of covenant mercy? Do you know the freedom of gospel grace? Are you His?
If you are then verses 17-19 just make sense!! As His grateful servant there is a desire to praise and glorify and magnify His name - and not just by ourselves but with the other servants who have been set free.
"To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the LORD. I shall pay my vows to the LORD, oh may it be in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the LORD's house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!"
What are you doing this Lord's Day when the other servants gather to render praise and prayer to the great Rescuer? This Sunday is a testimony to the resurrecting power which has loosed your bonds. Do you love Him for all that He has done? Gather together corporately with the King's other servants to lift up the cup of salvation and to call upon His name.
I'll be there. Hope you will too.