451. Watchful Servants

Psalm 123:2  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Psalm 123:22Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:2). Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
Servants in the East are not always spoken to when orders are given by the master or mistress. The wishes of the latter are made known by signs; hence it becomes necessary for the servants to watch the hand of the master to ascertain when they are wanted and what is required of them. The clapping of the hands may bring them when in an adjacent room, and a silent motion of the hand may express the master’s wish. Servants are trained to watch for these signs and to obey them. This custom is doubtless the one alluded to in the text; and yet there is force in the suggestion of Harmer, that, in its special application here, the latter part of the verse must not be forgotten. He paraphrases the passage thus: “As a slave, ordered by a master or mistress to be chastised for a fault, turns his or her imploring eyes to that superior, till that motion of the hand appears which puts an end to the bitterness that is felt, so our eyes are put up to thee, our God, till thy hand shall give the signal for putting an end to our sorrows” (Observations, vol. 2, p. 430).