The title of Psalm 36 informs us that it was written by David. I find it amazing how he identified himself! He could have distinguished himself as the grandson of Ruth and Boaz and used this line of family lineage to leverage himself in a bumptious way. He did not. He could have said he was a special friend of Samuel, the prophet of God. He could have mentioned that Samuel sought him out on occasion. But he did not.
He could have said he was an exceptional young man in his skill with a sling. After all, he killed Goliath. But he did not. He could have said he was a special operations commander in Saul’s army, having had military success unparalleled in the nation’s history. But he did not. He could have said he was crowned king of the nation with all the pomp and circumstance afforded any royalty. But he did not. He could have said he was rich beyond measure with gold, silver and other honors of wealth. But he did not.
How did David label himself in the title of this Psalm? What description did he give himself? How did he define himself? The words are clear in his explanation: “David, the Lord’s servant.” How do you identify yourself? What words would you use to speak of who and what you are? Would you list your family history, your academic degrees, your financial accumulations, your standing in the community or your political prowess? What would you use to describe yourself?
Jesus was a servant. Jesus came to serve not to lord it over humankind. This was a lesson He tried over and again to give to His followers: “Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. But he said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who have authority over them have themselves called ‘Benefactors.’ It is not to be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you should become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving” (Luke 22:24-27 CSB).
However great, powerful and famous David might have been, he knew the greatest title he could possibly have was to be called a servant of the Lord. Jesus again delivered a visual lesson to His disciples as He washed their feet. “You call me Teacher and Lord — and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you” (John 13:13-15 CSB).
Are you a servant of the Lord?