Servantship For Ministers (Isaiah 49:7, Matthew 20:25-8)

The Sevant, by GC Meyers, http://redtreetimes.com/2008/12/10/if-i-had-a-boat/
This is what the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, says to one who is despised, to one abhorred by people, to a servant of rulers:  “Kings will see and stand up, and princes will bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel—and He has chosen you.”
-Isaiah 49:7 (HCSB)

But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”.
-Matthew 20:25-8 (HCSB)


Servant

What does the word "servant" bring to your mind?  Here are some words that I equate with that word:
  • Low 
  • Takes orders
  • Obedience 
  • Not the boss 
  • Under orders  
In Isaiah 49, The Lord calls Israel "My Servant", but God is raising up a person to be "His Servant" who will fulfill everything he has ever desired for Israel.

The Lord's Servant will bring Israel into it's destiny.  The Lord's Servant will bring God's salvation to the whole earth.  All this is service to God.  The Servant serves God by letting God make him into the Agent of God's service.

Isaiah 49 contains one of the four sections in Isaiah, called "the servant songs".  As Christ followers, we can see Jesus described in these.

Jesus came as a servant, serving the Lord, bringing God's redemption to humanity, as service.  Jesus followers also serve the Lord and each other by carrying on Jesus' service.

Jesus is The Servant and his followers are going to be servants also.  This is God's plan.

When God calls his ministers today, he also calls them to be servants.  Jesus does not call people to be leaders, but he calls them to be servants.

Before Jesus calls you to serve, he calls you to be his disciple.  Is it possible to be a leader in the church, but not be a disciple of Jesus?

God's Plan For God's Servant (Isaiah 49:1-6)

Coastlands, listen to me; 
Distant peoples, pay attention.
The Lord called me before I was born.
He named me while I was in my mother’s womb.
He made my words like a sharp sword;
He hid me in the shadow of His hand.
He made me like a sharpened arrow;
He hid me in His quiver.
He said to me, 
“You are My Servant, Israel; I will be glorified in him.”
But I myself said: I have labored in vain, 
I have spent my strength for nothing and futility; 
Yet my vindication is with the Lord, and my reward is with my God.
And now, says the Lord, 
Who formed me from the womb to be His Servant, 
To bring Jacob back to Him so that Israel might be gathered to Him; 
For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and my God is my strength.
He says, “It is not enough for you to be My Servant 
Raising up the tribes of Jacob 
And restoring the protected ones of Israel.
I will also make you a light for the nations, 
To be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
-Isaiah 49:1-6 (HCSB)

God has a plan!

Here is what we learn for Isaiah 49:1-6:
  • God has a plan.
  • Preparation is needed.
  • Israel's promises are fulfilled in Christ for God's glory.
  • We might feel futile, but God has a plan he will fulfill.
  • God's initiative to restore to Himself.
  • God has an "above and beyond our dreams" (Eph. 3:20) plan.

Isaiah 49 - God's Will

I got the idea that Isaiah 49 contains a message about where the people of God are going.  It is a message of encouragement and hope.  It is a message about redemption and restoration.

I am going to write a series of posts on Isaiah 49.  At a glance, this chapter is about The Servant of The Lord and Israel's restoration.

The whole Bible is His-story.  And as Christians, his story becomes our story.  My thoughts are a starting point for discussion and conversational exegesis, in coming to an understanding of the application of the text for us communally.  As Peter wrote:

First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one's own interpretation.
-1 Peter 1:20
That (above) is a "word cloud" of Isaiah 49, from the HCSB.  The bigger the word, the more it occurs.  I immediately  noticed "I" and "will".  Then I noticed "you", "me", "your", "my", "Lord", and "for".

Isaiah 49 has to do with "will".  I was excited about this.  Because we ask, "what is your will?", to God.  We wonder what "will" happen, what we "will" God do, and what is God's will to do that God will do?  We also wonder what we will do, based on what is God going to do.

Seeking Answers From God

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out.
-Proverbs 25:2 (TLV)

Think about what you don't know, that you want to know.  What is it that you want to know, that you don't know?  That information that you don't know is a mystery, it is hidden, it is unknown to you.

I am referring to the "what?" and not the "why?"  It can be, "who?"  It can also be, "when?' or "where?"  It is the unknown that can be known.

Unanswered Prayer Isn't The Answer

Something that I was reminded of this week was that we do not draw a conclusion from unanswered prayer.  In other words, if you don't have the answer, don't fill in the blank with a negative.  Especially about God.  Don't do "bad theology", based on your (negative) experience.

The fact that you cannot see it does not mean it is not there.  The fact that you have not received it does not mean it is not available.  The fact that you have not done it does not mean you cannot do it.

People "settle" for no answer and call it "God's will".  They say it, "must be God's will", that something did not happen, but they stopped praying.  I often think about the old hymn that says we needlessly carry crushing burdens, because we don't take it to the Lord in prayer.  There is God's sovereignty and our responsibility.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart