The Servant (continued)
c. Reduced Unto Refinement and Effectiveness
Now I have said that this was a very small company, and that is born out again and again by the Word of God. At critical times, times of transition, that is a feature to be taken account of. At an end-time, that which is to be the vessel of fullness is in itself a very small vessel. There may be the big thing, but that which is really going to serve the full end of God will be reduced unto refinement, as was the case with Gideon's thirty-two thousand, who were reduced to three hundred for that purpose. It was not a big company in the end, not a mob, not a mass movement. It is like that and will be like that at the end. That which is related to God's fuller intention will be a comparatively small thing very much refined, and the Lord takes serious pains to see that it is so.
d. The Bondservant of a Despot
Now when you come to Simeon in relation to that service, you note, of course, that he speaks of himself as the Lord's servant. There are two words here of considerable significance. "Now lettest thou thy servant depart, Lord, according to thy word, in peace." As we have earlier intimated, the word he used is the one used so often by the Apostle Paul about himself. "Now lettest thou thy BONDSERVANT ..." "Paul, the BOND-SLAVE of Jesus Christ." Simeon looked upon himself as the Lord's bond-slave. And then, when he said, "Now lettest thou thy servant depart, LORD," "he did not use the word that is usually employed for Lord, but the word despotes, "the despot." "Now lettest thou thy bond-slave go free, O Despot." You see what kind of conception he had of himself as a servant, and of the Lord as in the position of complete mastery over him. We so often think of the Lord as the Lord Whom we delight in; we like to call Him Lord, but we do not often think of Him in the sense of a despot. That word for us has an unsavory element in it. The Lord, the Despot! What I am trying to point out is that, in the usage of this language, Simeon is looking upon himself as the servant of the Lord under absolute mastery. The Lord was his complete master, despot. He was a mastered, a subdued, a subjugated man. For this service of the fullness of Christ, the servant has to be on that basis, a bond-slave, one in complete subjection to the Lord. So much is this the case that here the Greek figure behind the language is that of the slave who has either been inherited or bought, and then branded; he cannot take freedom unless he is either given franchise or bought right out from his bondage by some superior authority. He has no rights whatsoever. And Simeon is saying, "Now, Lord, let me go as Thy branded bond-slave; give me my heavenly franchise."
What a conception of the servant of the Lord! It has to be like that; to serve the Lord in any fullness, we have to come there.
[Personally, I would much rather be a bond-slave of Christ (the "despot"), then a bond-slave and bond-servant, of the devil!! - which we are in our natural, worldly state]
(continued with # 17 - (e. Utter Heart Response To Divine Apprehending)