This sermon was delivered on October 25, 2021 at the Christian Interdenominational Prayer Forum (CLIP) monthly meeting held at Revival Worship Center, Kennedale, Texas.
Text: Isaiah 42:1-9
Israel as a tribe/nation was chosen by God to serve Him. As God’s servant, they were to help bring the knowledge of God to the world. Israel was given a mission to serve God, be the custodian of His word, and to be a form of light to the Gentile nations. However, the people of Israel failed because of sin and rebellion. Thus, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, as the Messiah to fulfill that mission on earth. The Messiah, Jesus, would fulfill this task and show God Himself to the world. Israel and Jesus Christ the Messiah are both often described as servant.
This group of Israelites failed because of sin and rebellion. They fell short of accomplishing the mission God saved them for. Their leader then, Moses, equally fell short to lead them to the Promised Land because he dishonored God before His people by not doing exactly as he was instructed. How ironic and disappointed could it be to have gone through all he went through for them, and yet not make it to the destination with them.
King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 9:11 that, “…the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise , nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill ; but time and chance happen to them all.” This is why historical events are recorded for us to know what happened and for us to avert past errors. Thus, we need to learn from their failures to avert failures in our own missions. Indeed, records of historical events are important so that we may read them and learn from the lives of those before us.
On the other hand, some school of thoughts may choose to shun the idea of examining the failures of others, and rather focus on what worked and still works. However, for wise counselors that we are, it is critical for us to consciously examine why Israel failed because the reasons are not far fetched from us too. In fact, they are innate to us.
What lessons can we learn from the failures of Israel’s mission?
- Despite God’s faithfulness to them, severally, they yet were unfaithful.
- Despite God’s sovereign power and authority; despite His unconditional love to them coupled with promises of assurance and blessings to them, they yet, were rebellious against His authority and instructions. In fact they were against His instituted authorities and did their own things. They did what seemed right to them but not what Is right before God. May the Lord have mercy.
- Despite God’s just and righteous acts to fight and deliver them from their enemies, they yet were ungrateful and unrighteous because they sinned and did unjust things.
Sadly, some of these acts are paraded in the body of Christ today. To be God’s kind of servant, we must carefully, consciously and strategically put a plan in place to avert these things before we are entangled by familiarity and/or frequent association.
Also, It is fair to admit that Israel’s failures was not because of bad leadership because God was their Leader who led them from captivity to the Promised Land. The problem is with Followership. Failure to follow given instructions can be catastrophic.
We are called to be followers of Jesus Christ – the One who successfully fulfilled God’s mission on earth. We are called to follow and model His character, humility, love and honesty. If we follow Him faithfully, and wholeheartedly do His bidding, we will be successful in our mission as He was.
Characteristics of God’s Servant – Jesus Christ :
From the prophesy of Prophet Isaiah in our text, we can deduce that Jesus Christ is the Perfect Messiah and fulfilment of God’s mission for humanity. Thus, He is our Perfect Image and Model. In Him are these attributes and we will see how God relates and responds to whosoever possesses these attributes.
- God’s servant seeks and brings forth justice v1 — God’s soul is delighted in His servants to the extent that He pours His Spirit upon Him to do His Work to seek and bring justice to the Gentiles (unbelieving nations). Justice could also mean judgement to wicked nations.
- God is mindful of His servant He will not allow His servant to cry out in distress v2
- God’s kind of servant is relational and sympathetic towards the poor, needy, and those who struggle v3. How do we relate with members and non-members who struggle?
- God’s servant is used by God to achieve God’s divine purposes v5-9
- In modeling Christ, we must be humble at heart as Apostle Paul testified in Philippians 2:8 – Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross
- God’s kind of servant must be selfless, sacred and be ready to be offer sacrificial services to God and His people.
May God help us to perfectly become His kind of servant, and not just who we prefer to be or whom the people prefer us to be.
God bless you pastors, and God bless your spouses and children. They make a lot of sacrifices that cannot be quantified.
Thank you, and welcome to the City of Kennedale, Texas. We are glad and blessed to host you!