A Servant’s Request
The Psalmist declared his judgment or discernment of right and wrong and responding justly to others. On the merits of a clear conscious before God and people he asks—
“Be surety for thy servant for good:
let not the proud oppress me.”
Psalm 119: 122, KJV
The psalmist, God’s servant, desired the Lord’s guarantee of goodness toward him when the proud sought to overpower him.
Guarantees we can count on are hard to find in our world today, no different than the psalmist’s world—more people mean more broken promises. The lifetime guarantees made on products are as worthless as the promises of those seeking power through governments. Only One fulfills the guarantee of good for his servants. He is our surety.
A surety in scripture is a binding legal agreement, a pledge of one party to another to make good on a debt if another cannot fulfill the obligation. The agreement binds the two parties leaving one master over the other. A practical example would be needing someone to sign a contract guaranteeing payment if the first party defaulted on payment. The Bible speaks to being surety for another person.
“He that is surety for a stranger
shall smart for it:
and he that hateth suretiship is sure.”
Proverbs 11:15, KJV
The psalmist looked to the right One to be his surety for good, by looking to the Lord.
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
The LORD will give grace and glory:
no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84:11, KJV
At birth, all people inherit Adam’s sin debt—
- a debt he could not pay, nor can we—
- a debt requiring a holy life
- or reaping the consequence of eternal death, the separation from all that is holy—God and those who are his servants.
Jesus Christ, God the Son, became our surety, our guarantee of life eternal with him, through paying the debt we could not pay.
“By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament …
And he took the cup, and gave thanks,
and gave it to them, saying,
Drink ye all of it.
For this is my blood of the new testament,
which is shed for many for the remission of sins …
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by him,
seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Hebrews 7:22; Matthew 26:27-28; Hebrews 7:25, KJV
Jesus fulfilled the debt when he cried out from the cross, “It is finished.” The Father stamped the debt paid in full, with Jesus’s empty tomb.
At our physical birth we inherited Adam’s sin nature making us children of a sinful world. We were servants of the sin nature of our father Adam. Being born of God into his family, he has adopted us as his children making us servants not of the law but of his righteousness. We bear his image.
“Being then made free from sin,
ye became the servants of righteousness …
being made free from sin,
and become servants to God,
ye have your fruit unto holiness,
and the end everlasting life.”
Romans 6: 18, 22, KJV
We are the children of God whom we now serve not through the compulsion of the law of sin and death, but under the compulsion of love and life. As we desire to honor and serve good earthly fathers, how much more do we desire to honor and serve our heavenly Father, who desires to share his goodness with us—Jesus is our guarantee. We have his Spirit within us to testify to the truth.
“And because ye are sons,
God hath sent forth
the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,
crying Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:6, KJV
A Prayer of Thanksgiving: Thank you, Father, for answering this servant’s request through the giving of Jesus, God the Son, as our guarantee of your goodness toward us. May we offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving as obedient children in service to you.