Today’s Reading: Isa 41:1–42:9, Luke 15:1–32, Job 9:20–24
Today’s Theme: God’s Faithful Servant
Today we observe Jesus as God’s faithful servant, see what it is to be a bad servant and who the devil’s servants are.
Jesus, God’s Servant
“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. (Isaiah 42:6–7, ESV)
Earlier in today’s Old Testament reading we heard God telling the people that they should not fear but trust in Him. We then see God judge the false idols and idol worshippers who have no power to help anyone.
Now we see the prophecy of God’s solution in the form of a chosen and faithful servant in whom God delights. He will be meek, humble, determined, focussed, powerful and will bring justice and light to the nations. This prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus.
Through Jesus the prison doors are opened, the blind receive their sight and light comes to those in darkness. Jesus is the revelation of God, God’s great name, the answer to all the false gods.
Thank God today that Jesus was obedient even to the death on the cross as God’s servant and thus forming a new covenant by which we are now saved.
The bad servant
but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. (Luke 15:29, ESV)
Learn the double lesson from the parable Jesus taught of the prodigal son. Both sons were in need of repentance, grace and mercy. The first is obvious because his sin was one for the world to see, the second, from the older brother, was far more subtle and harder to see.
The older brother was serving but with the wrong heart and attitude. If we are serving God begrudgingly, always complaining and bellyaching about the woes of service for the Lord, how hard it is and seeking some kind of recognition or reward then we need to refocus our hearts on loving God and serving Him from that place.
Don’t be a bad servant like the older brother, be a good and faithful servant like Jesus.
Also remember, as the rest of the New Testament passage illustrates, that we were all like the lost sheep or coin and God sought us and found us. We should humbly repent and be gracious to others who need the same grace we have been shown.
The devil’s servants
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges— if it is not he, who then is it? (Job 9:24, ESV)
This same sentiment, which is of course incorrect, is expressed everywhere today. It goes something like this “if there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world” or “God is cruel to allow all these things to happen”.
These are popular, non-biblical views of the sovereignty of God. Winding all events down to God’s responsibility and letting evil men and spirits off scot-free.
The fact is the devil has servants in the form of evil spirits and all men under sin are by default slaves to sin and so slaves to the devil. The responsibility for the evil in the world lies squarely at the feet of sin and it’s agents.
Combat this lie today and point people to God’s faithful servant Jesus Christ and the provision that has been made through Him.
From 17th until 23rd August the Daily Bible Reading notes will take a shorter summarised format for the summer break.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Luke 15