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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Servant

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I should not have, stopped at this word, had the general sense of it been the object I had in view to have noticed. Every one is perfectly at home in his apprehension of the term servant, throughout the same time it may be remarked, that perhaps there are but few, even in the common acceptation of the word servant, who are aware how very general, in the extensive sense of the term, it is, as observed in the circumstances among men.

In relation to the character of servant, as it refers to the service the whole creation owe the Lord, we may take up the language of the Psalmist, and say, all things continue, according to JEHOVAH'S ordinance: for all things serve thee. (Psalms 119:91) "The deceiver and the deceived are his." (Job 12:16) Wicked men, and devils, as well as the faithful servants of JEHOVAH, may be said to minister to the Lord's will and pleasure; and though not by their intentions, yet by the overruling and sovereign power of God, do carry on his administrations in his almighty government. This doctrine, if it were capable of being opened and explained if all the multiform instances of it, would unfold such a display of wisdom, and of glory, as would call up the everlasting and increasing admiration, love, and praise, of all the intelligent creatures of God to all eternity.

And in relation to the word servant, in the mutual services men owe, and are in fact exercising, of receipt towards one another; here also, the subject is almost boundless. No state, no condition of rank in life, is altogether exempt from it. The King and the beggar have both their respective provinces in life; and as Solomon saith, "the profit of the earth is for all the King himself is served by the field." (Ecclesiastes 5:9)

But I should not have introduced the word servant in my Poor Man's Concordance, had it been merely to have noticed these things. I have another, and as I hope, a higher object for its introduction; I mean in relation to the person, work, and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ, as JEHOVAH'S servant, and the servant of his people, as set forth in these unequalled words of humility and tenderness, and which are Jesus own, when he said. "The son of man came not to be ministered, unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28)

This view of the Lord Jesus, as JEHOVAH'S Servant, in the great work of redemption, and the servant of his people, opens to our contemplation, one of the most endearing and most affectionate in all the office-characters of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence we find God the Father speaking of him as such, when calling him by this name. "Behold my Servant, whom I uphold: mine Elect in whom my soul delighteth!" Observe here the Father is speaking to the church of him, and bids the church to accept him, and receive him in this sweet character. And immediately after he speaks to him—"I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people?" (Isaiah 42:1-8)

In a following chapter, (Isaiah 49:1-6) we find the Lord Jesus calling to the church, in consequence of this covenant and commission, to accept and receive him in this character. "Listen O isles unto me; and harken ye people from far! the Lord hath called me, from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name; and said unto me, Thou art my Servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified?"

Such then being plainly and evidently the case, that the Lord Jesus Christ is JEHOVAH'S Servant, it will be highly proper and important that every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ should have a just and right conception of the sense in which this is meant in Scripture.

Now it is plain, that as God, and God alone, unconnected with the manhood, the sense of Servant cannot be meant. For he is "one with the Father over all, God blessed for ever." In this equality of nature and of essence, he is not JEHOVAH'S Servant, for he is JEHOVAH'S Fellow. (Zechariah 13:7) But when in the council of peace, before all worlds, in that covenant transaction which took place for the redemption of our nature between the glorious persons of the GODHEAD, the Son of God undertook to become man, that he might be the Surety and Sponsor of his church and people; here by this infinite condescension, we discover how Christ, as God and man united in one person, might, as he really and truly did, become the servant of JEHOVAH.

And so far was this act of humiliation from lessening the infinite dignity of the Lord Jesus Christ, or in a single circumstance departing from his own essential power and GODHEAD, that had he not been God as well as man, he could not have been a suited person of JEHOVAH'S Servant. And although he did veil the glories of the GODHEAD, during the time of his tabernacling in substance of our flesh here below, yet was it utterly impossible to be a moment void of it; and oftentimes he caused it to burst forth in wonderful display of sovereign glory and power. He, and he only, as God and man in the person, could be the competent Servant, of JEHOVAH to obey and fulfil all righteousness; to cancel and take away all sins by his blood; and as JEHOVAH'S righteous servant, to justify many, and to be "his salvation to the ends of the earth."

I hope the reader will be able from this short relation of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Christ of God, God and man united, to form full and just ideas of the sense in which it is, that our dear Redeemer is JEHOVAH'S Servant. Indeed this character is so peculiarly and personally his own, and his alone, that it is impossible any other should be. And he is so fully and so completely JEHOVAH'S Servant, out of zeal to his Father's glory, and out of pure free unpurchased love to his church, his Spouse, that the proper knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in his character, among all his other offices and characters, is life eternal. (See John 17:3)

And now reader, if the Lord, the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to take of the things of Jesus, and to shew to the people, hath graciously shewn Christ to you in this lovely and endearing character; what a sweetness must your soul find, as often as you hear God the Father calling upon you in that sweet Scripture, to behold his Servant, your Surety, whom JEHOVAH upholds, and in whom his soul delighteth! And how blessed must you be to behold your Lord Jesus as JEHOVAH'S Servant and your Surety, entering, as the Scriptures have set him forth, the service of his Father, magnifying his holy law, and fulfilling all righteousness; yea, more than repairing all the breaches our sins had made, and purchasing for his redeemed a greater abundance of glory and happiness by his righteousness and blood shedding, than a whole eternity will be able to recompence! Oh, what endless glories, even now by faith, break in upon the soul, while contemplating the Father's grace, and Jesus' love, in this great salvation! "Haste, haste my beloved, and until the day break, and the shadows flee away, be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether." (Song of Song of Solomon 2:17)


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Servant'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/pmd/s/servant.html. London. 1828.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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