“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight” (Isaiah 42:1).
Servanthood is a key theme in the lyrical words of Isaiah 41—53. God uses this term to describe the people of Israel, the coming Messiah, and others.
Interestingly, “servant” and “chosen” are often together in these chapters. (See, for example, 41:8; 43:10; and 44:1.) Isn’t it an odd combination? When I picture a chosen person, I see an adopted child, a best friend, or an elected ruler. But not a servant. The word chosen points to high regard and honor. The word servant describes someone quiet and humble, working hard.
But God’s chosen are his servants. His people Israel were his servants, a people called to bear witness to him and to provide the human ancestry of his Son. Jesus is The Chosen One, the One by whom the world was made and by whom it will be judged, yet who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). We, too, are chosen by God and are called to serve.
So what are your servant tasks today? Do they include changing a diaper and making dinner? Or preparing a report and making a sales call? Maybe it’s supporting people on the team you lead or wrestling through a decision that will impact hundreds. Is it patiently listening to a spouse or a friend, holding back your own needs for a time? Or perhaps it’s cleaning things up and running the errands. Maybe you’ll cross paths with a stranger in need today.
Did you notice what else God says about his servant, his chosen one, in the words above? God upholds the servant. And more: God delights in that servant. While the servant serves, God supports and rejoices, he encourages and enjoys. Who knew servants had it so good!
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
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