How to Be a Servant

Opening Prayer

“Make me a servant, humble and meek, Lord let me lift up those who are weak” (Kelly Willard).

Read Isaiah 42:1–9

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

5 This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”

Reflect

Make a list of tasks you would expect to see a servant perform.

We don’t “do” servants much in modern, Western societies. Indeed, to refer to someone as “my servant” would be distinctly non-PC today. The Bible, however, is full of references to these people and, of course, Jesus himself took the form of a servant (Phil. 2:7). Perhaps some Christians maintain a sort of double-think on this matter. We hold to the enlightened view that
each of us should have equal rights. Yet we also aspire to be “slaves of Christ,” wholly submitted to his will.

The servant in Isaiah is, indeed, a person wholly committed to God. He’s not in charge of his own life. His business is God’s business, whether this is kingship or toilet cleaning. We can gather what the servant is like. He or she is faithful, just, quiet—not the sort of person who shouts and makes a fuss. The servant is also chosen, called and filled with the Spirit. And the
servant is determined to see the job through.

So who is this passage talking about? Obviously, Jesus springs to mind. But this is also intended as a sort of idealized picture of the people of Israel. And, if we really want to follow Jesus, it should give us good guidance about how to live a Christian life too.

Apply

How many duties of the servant can you find in this passage? Can you see how to apply any of these in your own life?

Closing prayer

Lord, I rededicate myself to Your service. If some of my perspectives need adjustment, please help me. Show me the way.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider