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Sunday: Servant Nation — 23 Comments

  1. When we start discussing church issues in the modern-day context, how many times do we start sentences with the phrase; "The church should be doing ..."? With our wide, selective vision it is easy to pick faults and applications to the corporate body and overlook our own faults and weaknesses.

    We easily forget that a church is a reflection of its membership and if we want a different church we need to act differently as individuals. Today's lesson emphasises the two aspects of serving, the national and the citizen; the corporate church and the member.

    It reminds me of jellyfish. When we see a jellyfish we think we see one organism floating in the water. Biologists tell us that Jellyfish are actually colonies of organisms with each individual organism collaborating with the other members of the colony, serving in their own individual capacity. It is only by working together that the colony survives.

    In our modern-day world there is an emphasis on individual freedom over social responsibility. The current COVID pandemic has tested that idea of individual freedom and we are beginning to see that if we want to overcome the pandemic we need to understand that sometimes social responsibility means that we lose the privilege of individual freedom.

    “No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.” John Donne, Devotions, 1624

    Christianity is identified by serving, selfless sacrifice, and collaboration, not by individual freedom, and competitiveness. Success comes through service.

    Amen!(53)
    • Hi Maurice,
      Thank you for your post. I am taking a class called Social Justice for Educators right now and your post goes along perfectly with what I am studying. Would you mind if I use some parts of your post in my discussion questions for this week? I will cite you. Thanks, Tammy

      Amen!(6)
    • I rarely disagree with you but I do on this subject. Maybe it is a another way of stating it from a different perspective.

      Individual liberty comes packaged with responsibility. God has giving each one of us a free will to choose (individual liberty). Along with choosing to follow Him and His precepts, comes responsibility to our fellow man/woman. The founders of the USA who wrote the constitution, knew that this system of liberty/ individual freedom would not work in an amorale society. Here is a quote from Mark Levin in “ Liberty and Tyranny” that I believe hits the mark.

      “In the civil society, the individual is recognized and accepted as more than an abstract statistic or faceless member of a group; rather he is a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience. He is free to pursue his own legitimate interests, tempered, however, by a moral order order that has its foundation in faith and guides his life and all human life through the prudent exercise of judgement. As such, the individual in the civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous—that is restrained, ethical and honorable. He rejects the relativism that blurs the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, and means and ends.

      In a civil society, the individual has a duty to respect the unalienable rights of others and the values, customs, and traditions, tried and tested over time and passed from one generation to the next, that establish society’s cultural identity. He is responsible for attending to his own well-being and that of his family. And he has a duty to contribute to his community through good works.”

      Amen!(3)
      • Thanks Jim, I am not sure that you are really disagreeing with me - just expanding the ideas of freedom and responsibility. A worthwhile comment.

        Amen!(2)
          • If you compare this verse in Isaiah with Job 25:6 and Ps 22:6, it is an expression emphasising the difference between God and man. God, the almighty omniscient one is interested in us who could be regarded as insignificant. That makes the metaphors used to describe his love for us; the mother's love for their child, and tattooing our name on the palm of his hand even more powerful. God loves us even though we could be considered as inconsequential as worms.

            Amen!(1)
          • A worm is a weak creature. Israel is helpless like a worm. We are too weak like a worm and need his help. Even though we are like a worm, God will be there to help us.

            Amen!(0)
  2. Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.
    Psm 144:4

    Servant Nation

    A servant is one who performs duties for other, or a government.
    According to my knowledge, Israel was the youngest nation formed in bible times. All the other nations were already in existence when the Lord formed Israel. Abraham was called out of Canaan. Genesis 11:31-32. His birth and his nativity was of the land of Canaan. Israel father was an Amorite, and mother a Hittite. That mean they both came from two heathen nations. Ezek 16:3-63. The bible gave us a clear description of the journey in life of the Israelites from nothing to something. The Lord used a young nation who was the least of all the powerful nations in size and strength to show his power through them. Here they were described as a worm. Isa 41:14.
    A powerless animal who can be eaten up by another animal (enemy) or trample on without anyone thinking about them. We knew the stories well how Israel enemies treated them, starting from the Egyptians. Their encounter throughout the wilderness with the other powerful nations and how they were treated. We were told about other nations who came to conquer them time and time again but the Lord fought for them. While they settled in the promised land their enemies were still after them, it was Jesus who rescued them and saved them.
    In so saying, the Lord was using them to carry the message to the heathen nations. The message was about who Jesus was/is. Israel was to be a servant nation but they refused to obey and to carry this great message about the Lord of Love.
    Do we recognized that we also are a spiritual servant nation? Are we carrying this message about the Lord of Love? Are we living like a servant nation/people. Is the love of Jesus dwelling in us?

    Amen!(38)
    • Lyn, you are correct the LORD took one faithful man, Abram, and made a new nation from his descendants.
      Just a small correction, Abram was born in the Ur of the Chaldees, and that was the land they left to go to Canaan, which was the Promised Land, and he was 75 years old when he got there, check out either of these web sites for more info including a map.
      Abram's journey to Canaan
      footsteps of Abraham

      Amen!(19)
      • Shirley- thanks for taking us backward to the beginning of Abraham birthplace and life. Very interesting read.
        Similar to the youngest physical nation Israel, is the youngest spiritual organization, the SDA church. To my knowledge, the SDA church is the youngest organization God had used and equipped its people with so much knowledge. From this we got the 28 fundamental beliefs.
        The question remains, are we behaving just like physical Israel in their backslidden ways as mentioned in the bible? If so, the Lord will deal with us the same way he dealt with them. Oh have mercy. Let us repent and turn from our wicked ways.

        Amen!(11)
  3. The LORD calls you and me His servant and promises to give us the strength, courage and equipment to do the work He has given us. In Isaiah & Judah's time it was often physical battles but now days it is more often spiritual battles and the Holy Spirit through Paul reminds us of the spiritual armour that the LORD provides for us to go out and do the work as His servants.

    Isa 41:10.
    Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
    Eph 6:10.
    10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the spiritual arenas.

    Amen!(20)
  4. Thinking about the question at the end of the lesson, why the Lord calls Israel a worm. Worms could appear helpless. They have no arms or legs that we can see, most of their life is spent in the dark, underground. However, worms are extremely beneficial to the soil. They break it up and compost it in such a way that gardens that have worms in them are enriched for planting. They turn food scraps in a compost bin into rich fertile soil. That prepares the ground to receive the seed and bear fruit. What a wonderful object lesson for us from the humble worm.

    Amen!(21)
  5. Thank you Maurice for your wise insight as always. If it is okay, I would love to post your comments from today on my social media page.

    May God continue to lead and bless you.

    Amen!(3)
  6. Yes, Tammy so we have to careful how we interact with the worm because the owner of the compost will not treat us kindly for destroying his worm. Dead worms infertile soil.God help us to be living worms.

    Amen!(7)
  7. “What is the role of the servant nation?” – Isa.41:8-20KJV - v.13: “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. v.14 : Fear not, thou worm Jacob and ye few men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. v.20: That they may see, and know and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

    Jacob’s God introduced Himself by His powerful, miracle working arm when He took the people who were no people and declared them to be HIS People. From the onset, all people needed to know that: v.6 - …from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. – Isa.45:4-6KJV.
    Once this Truth is established and man becomes aware of his Creator, would he not want to declare Him to be his God, giving Him ultimate Authority to direct his life? Can there be any other way than to be His ‘Servant’ – willing or unwilling, obedient or disobedient, happy or resentful – but always a Servant?
    We might need to rethink the image of a servant; actually all terminology used to relate to God’s family relations needs a redefining; synonyms are used to help visualize family interactions between the Heavenly Father and His servant, offspring, spouse, children etc., but they are not on the same level as family relations between man’s family members.

    Jacob’s people, though having been former slaves of Egypt’s kings, became a strong people through the intervention of their Redeemer that set them free from their bondage to Egypt's kings only to lay claim to their allegiance with the offer to make them HIS People, to be their new King.
    All people are born into some type of identity based on country of origin. Jacob's people, though, were to become the Creator's people, their identity was in His Name! This name did not describe their *place* of origin, if any, it was the Kingdom of heavenly inspired Faith; they were always to be called by the name of their ancestrial father Jacob/Israel, who was loved by God. This ‘slave’-master relationship was to be regulated by mutally agreed upon rules and guidelines and motivated by obedience/love of the people for their Maker/Master and the faithfulness of their Redeemer/God.

    If Egypt represents all the fleeting splendor the world has to offer, everything that is man’s delight, what will be that which God offers to them who love Him with all their heart, mind and soul? He offers them a changed life of inner peace, a new life lived by the Light of the Truth in Righteousness established by Him and revealed to man by His Holy Spirit. This will be more than sufficient to guide the believer safely through the perils of the remaining days of his life.
    Come ye out of Babylon – come ye out of Egypt – come ye out of the darkness of this world into the marvelous, Heavenly Light!

    Amen!(5)
  8. I have heard several preachers using the chapters in today's lesson to preach to their audiences and they can be quite comforting. Even i personally like using Isaiah 41:10 in my prayers.... Now, according to today's lesson, the Lord's servant is either the physical nation of Israel or later on Jesus. Now, is it contextually correct to quote these verses and apply them individually? Is it for example, correct to say do not fear oh worm Pascal?

    Amen!(2)
  9. A worm is utterly helpless and dependent on God. Is easily tread upon. Kind of like calling His people sheep. For humble hearts this is not a word of degradation but a word of encouragement. Stand down. Submit. Be spiritually mature.
    God wants us to give up on self-sufficiency in favor of yoking up with Him.

    The Christian life and life in the Church is about wrestling with God, a progressive pattern of humbling, rather than the world's way about chasing rainbows. The world celebrates personal empowerment, the Christian celebrates contentment and strength in losing self to God and humbling self before others (Phil 4:11-13). Down to the level of a vulnerable worm. In danger. Anything can happen to a worm by the world's careless boots. Growing in grace and the knowledge of God is a progressive weakening of my will for God's.

    Jacob had to learn humility the hard way, by wrestling with God. At the end of his life he said, "few and evil have been the days of my life" (Gen 47:9). Like God touching Jacob in the hip and making it impossible for him to wrestle anymore, eventually a crippling blow can cause us to stop wrestling with God so we can receive His blessing (Gen 32:25-29). The Church, Christ's Body, may become disjointed (like Jacob) but it will receive God's blessings as long as it refuses to let go of Him. Have you received God's blessing in a place of helplessness?

    We might go to our graves with our questions unanswered and the ache of our losses still throbbing. Personally I've weathered enough with God to be ready to accept this. I just want no matter what to refuse to let go of Him, to hang on to His every word (Luke 10:39-42), to constantly be aware of my helplessness apart from Him, to develop a deeper trust, to be able to communicate honestly with Him, to seek His blessings and claim His promises.

    Amen!(16)
  10. This servant nation has no limit to time and place, but includes all who from the beginning until now have placed themselves in the service of God by serving their fellow man, guided by Truth and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Pattern to follow in every transaction we participate in, and our strength, if we take His yoke upon us and learn of Him.

    Amen!(1)
  11. Isaiah 11:1 is so absolutely an amazing and mataphoric description of Jesus' as being "Jewish" etc. The Hebrew word used there for "stem" is a word that can apply to a cut down tree or a newly panted one. Then, going down to the "roots" of that tree, a fruitful "branch" comes forth. The very fact that a branch comes from the roots is indicative that the Hebrew word "Gezah" has to be meaning a "live tree." Potatoes, and peanuts, grow from roots. Here, the analogy is of a living tree that goes on to also be fruitful even from its roots. The idea seems to be there that because He was rejected by His own Nation He nevertheless goes on to bless the world via "His roots."

    Amen!(1)

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