The scripture that inspired this hymn is found in Exodus 21 where Moses is giving the children of Israel God’s law for them concerning slaves. Verses 5 and 6 read thus: “But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”
There are many ways in which we can relate our relationship with God to the relationship here between servant and master.
1. CHOICE: Just as the servant had the choice to go “free” or to “serve [his master] forever” we can choose to refuse God’s law and live a “free” life leading to death, or we can choose to “serve…forever” our most gracious and wonderful Creator.
2. MASTER FIRST: In the servant’s case, he is choosing to dedicate himself to doing his masters will. When we obey Christ in baptism, we are making the choice to put Him first in our lives. This means we will seek His will above our own, strive to please Him rather than men, and look to His word for strength and truth rather than our own wisdom or the wisdom of men. We cannot serve Christ with our whole heart and still place others (or ourselves) above our Lord (Matthew 10:37-39). We must be willing to give up all to serve Christ.
3. PROVISIONS: As a master provides for his servants, so our Father provide for those who choose to serve Him and be His children. However, our Heavenly Father blesses us above and beyond what any master here on earth could possibly bestow upon his most favored servant. Our Master has bountifully blessed us with the necessities of life along with many other comforts. He will always provide these this to those who serve Him with their whole heart (Matthew 6:25-34). He, unlike masters here on earth, provided for our spiritual needs by giving us His Word (2 Peter 1:2-4), the avenue of prayer (James 5:16) and brethren to help us along (Romans 12:9-16). God also gave a gift no other being could ever bestow when sent His only Son to die on the cross to provide us forgiveness of sins and a way into Heaven (John 3:16). We must not fail to put our faith in God and Christ, our wonderful Provider, Father, and Savior.
Have you made the choice to give your life wholly unto the service of the Almighty Lord and King? If so, are you actually serving Him with deepest sincerity and reverence? If not I challenge you to consider your life and your service to Him and determine to be a more willing and loving servant tomorrow than you have been today.