Category Archives: August

The Word of God and the Servant of God

The Prophets of old and the servants of the new Covenant all had a definite call from God to serve Him. In spite of them and their desires these men and women were moved by the power of God to accomplish whatever God wanted to do through their lives. Prophet Ezekiel was one such person. God’s call and preparatory work are clearly evident in the lives of His servants.

“Son of man, do not fear them or their words. Don’t be afraid even though their threats surround you like nettles and briers and stinging scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls, even though they are rebels. You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious! Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you.” (Eze.2:1-8 NLT)

The work of the Word

The servant hears the voice of God through the Word of God,. It is the life transforming Word that moves people and turns them around. Paul says in Rom.10:17 (NKJV) that “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” As one reads, listens and meditates on God’s Word, the Spirit of God uses it to communicated to him and to generate faith that pleases God. As this continues, the Spirit of God will begin to move in and through his life. In the case of Ezekiel, as he listened to God’s Word, the Spirit of God took hold of him and lifted him up to his feet, enabling him to stand up.

As God’s servants speak it out, it is the Word of God that speaks to people today. The Spirit of God uses it to convict, regenerate, rebuke, encourage, strengthen, commission and transform those who pay attention.

The response to the Word

The servant is commanded to proclaim the Word as it is given to him. His dignity, status or security should not come in the way of doing this. Irrespective of what the audience’s response is he has to proclaim it. The accountability aspect is individual. You do what you are commanded to do. Your listener is responsible to do what he is told. It is not the servants’ responsibility to see that the listener obeys, rather he is responsible to tell the message as God had said it.

The role of the servant

The servant has a significant role to play in the proclamation of the Word. He can be tempted to dilute the message in view of material gain, personal interests, or personal and family security. He can also become so used to it that he may take it for granted. When the message is distorted, the servant is causing his listeners to err and go astray while inviting God’s wrath upon himself. In order to avoid this there are specific instructions to the servant, like: ‘don’t be afraid of the audience, don’t rebel, be brave, listen’, and so on.

Listen carefully to everything I say and then think about it. Then go to the people who were brought here to Babylonia with you and tell them you have a message from me, the LORD God. Do this, whether they listen to you or not. (Eze.3:10-11 CEV)

The imagery of eating God’s Word points to the seriousness of the whole mission. The servant must literally feed on it and internalize the message before he can proclaim it. He should be so convinced and filled with the message that it will flow out of him with the same force and effect. The process of intent listening and meditating is suggested so that the servant is able to boldly say “thus says the LORD”.

God of Mercy and Wrath

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God…

…let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Heb.12:14-15, 28-29 ESV)

It is often overlooked that the same God of Mercy is also the God of wrath. God can not change His rules and twist His justice. So the Church is warned to be careful the way it conducts itself. God is absolutely holy and without holiness no one will see God (Heb.12:14).

God of Wrath

The People of God came to Mount Sinai during their sojourn where God met them and gave them His commandments. It was a frightening atmosphere, with fire and smoke, and God speaking like thunder. The sight was so frightening that Moses said he shook with fear (Heb.12:21) (Exo. 19:16-25). This was a place where people experienced the awesomeness of the very presence of their God and were fully aware of His wrath. They were under the law of wrath and judgment and needed the blood of an animal to cover their sin whenever they approached the presence of God.

God of Mercy

The same God has made a new covenant through the blood of His dear Son, once and for all, for all those who place their trust in Jesus. Thus they experience first hand the mercy and love of their God. There is the assurance of a meeting with Him at Mount Zion, where He will reign as the King of kings. There is no fear of the wrath that will consume them if they come closer to this mountain, since only those who are redeemed by the blood of the Savior will gather their. Here there is joy, celebration and worship.

But the God of mercy do not want His children to take the free gift of His love for granted and live as they like. He expects them to live in holiness, reflecting His character of love and mercy towards each other. He is still the same, the holy, righteous, awesome Judge of all!

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Reactions of a Fallen Leader

The day after the New Moon Festival, when David’s place was still empty, Saul asked Jonathan, “Why hasn’t that son of Jesse come to eat with us? He wasn’t here yesterday, and he still isn’t here today!”Saul was furious with Jonathan and yelled, “You’re no son of mine, you traitor! I know you’ve chosen to be loyal to that son of Jesse. You should be ashamed of yourself! And your own mother should be ashamed that you were ever born. You’ll never be safe, and your kingdom will be in danger as long as that son of Jesse is alive. Turn him over to me now! He deserves to die!” (1Sam.20:27, 30 31)

Can someone fall from grace? Can someone who was chosen be rejected by God?

With regard to salvation the answer is “No”. But when it comes to serving God the answer is “Yes”. This we see in the lives of several leaders. Saul started well as the first king of Israel but turned out to be a failure in the sight of God. So he was rejected and someone else was appointed in that office. Towards the end of his tenure Saul demonstrated the traits of a fallen leader.

Insults associates in public

An efficient leader observes his associates closely and guides them properly. He keeps track of the moves they make and commends them for work well done and corrects them when they goof up. But, fallen leaders do this with wrong intentions- to prove them wrong and inefficient and to pin them down. Saul does the same with David. The youngest son of Jesse had a name but Saul is addressing him as “that son of Jesse”. It sounded sarcastic in the royal assembly. Perhaps, Saul had forgotten his roots and was pointing his finger at the lowly background of the shepherd boy.

Saul expressed his jealousy towards the upcoming leader and a servant of God’s choice. He tried to exert his authority and establish his supremacy which revealed his unwillingness to accept God’s authority.

Expects associates’ support even when he is wrong

Saul attacks his own son Jonathan for aligning with David instead of supporting him. Saul wanted to establish his dynasty in spite of God’s rejecting him and his family. Jonathan on the other hand risked his chance to the throne by supporting David. But he knew he should yield to God’s sovereignty.

Attempts to remove associates who are obstacles

Problems are opportunities for leaders. An efficient leader makes strategies to overcome obstacles. A Godly leader will look unto God for solutions. Associates are his strength.

But  a fallen leader will see a Godly associate as a threat and will try to eliminate him. Saul  saw David as an obstacle on his way. Instead of allowing God to settle things he tried to clear the way himself.

However, God is still the Kingmaker.