Encountered something in my CSB this morning which, while it may not be the strictest translation of the original, it’s interpretation of the original is certainly impactful.
Where am I reading? Luke’s gospel. What am I reading? Zechariah’s Spirit-filled, prophet declaration after his son, John, is born and named. The CSB translation’s impact? The difference between being “granted” something (ESV) and “given the privilege” of something (CSB). (Note: I am reading the 2017 edition of the CSB. The latest CSB revision, 2020, goes with the more literal rendering, “granted”, as well. But trusting in the providence of God as to the bible I bought, I’m gonna also trust that this meal, though maybe more “processed” than “organic”, is being served up by the Spirit as well.)
[The Lord, the God of Israel] has dealt mercifully with our fathers and remembered His holy covenant–the oath that He swore to our father Abraham. He has given us the privilege, since we have been rescued from the hand of our enemies, to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days.
(Luke 1:72-75 CSB)
He has given us the privilege . . . to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days.
That’s the prophetic hope of Zechariah through the revelation that his son would make way for the Messiah. The hope of being given the privilege, because of rescue and redemption, to serve in the presence of the God of heaven and earth in holiness and righteousness all his days. Wow! Chew on that for a bit! Yeah, talk about privilege!
How easy it is to slip into thinking of serving God as the price we have to pay for being saved by God, rather than the privilege we get to enjoy because we are also declared holy and righteous in Christ. We get to boldly be in God’s presence! All our days! Starting now and for eternity! And what are you gonna do when you are granted 24/7 access to the holy of holies on a wholly basis? You’re gonna wanna serve! Thus, God hasn’t just granted us to serve Him, He has given us the privilege to serve Him, as well.
It’s not that I have to serve, it’s that I get to serve.
Oh, because of the old man still at work within me, more often than I care to admit I don’t serve as I could, nor serve as I should. Yet, because of the cross, I wake every morning with the new opportunity to live into the forever privilege of serving God in His presence, clothed in the imputed righteousness of Christ. I can’t get tomorrow back, but I got today to live into the privilege.
Yeah, literally I’ve been granted to serve. But devotionally, what a joy to noodle on the reality that I have also been given the privilege to serve.
Only by God’s amazing grace. Always for God’s all-deserving glory.