Summary: God said, “Go down to the Brook Cherith and I’ve told the ravens to feed you.” “You told raven to feed me. Yea, right!!!”, would be the response of most of us, AND maybe that’s why our names are not in the “Hall of the Faithful Ones”.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!" 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged." 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
A few weeks ago, we had a lesson on "Worship", both private and public. In that lesson, we saw that no real worship takes place unless it produces a change in the life to be more like the one we are worshiping. There are many areas of our lives in which true worship will produce change. Today, I would like to introduce one of those areas.
That area is called Service.
Worship and service are vital parts of God’s total program called REDEMPTION.
In this lesson, I want to lay a little "ground work" for the next lessons. I also want to look at another problem passage, today. This "ground work" is not just busywork, but vital information to aid in our understanding of Biblical service.
In this study of "service", we will look at to two Biblical characters who were servants of God, doing His service. From their lives, we can draw many lessons to help in our service to God through the church.
What Bible character do you think you identify with more than any other? Many of us would like to resemble people like:
- David the "man after God’s own heart"
- John the Baptist who was "more than a prophet"
- Peter "a rock in the kingdom"
- Paul the "fervent apostle"
- Barnabas the "encourager"
However, if we are to be perfectly honest, most of us are probably more like the characters found in some of Jesus’ parables or miracles, especially:
- The publican, whose only plea was "God, be merciful to me a sinner."
- The centurion, who considered himself "unworthy."
Let’s go to the book of Hebrews, and there give attention to great men and women of faith. As we read about these "faith greats", we will probably find that we really don’t "compare" to them at all. Instead, even a quick glance at the account of Hebrews 11 reveals that we are VERY inferior to such men and women of faith.
In the first 31 verses of Hebrews 11 , the Holy Spirit mentions a number of the men and women of faith who lived in the "hall way of time". The Holy Spirit mentions such faithful ones as: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab and even Esau is mentioned in passing.
The mention of Esau in this passage calls our attention to a very important fact and the problem passage I would like to examine. After we examine briefly this problem passage, we will direct our attention back to the "faithful ones" of Hebrews 11 , in our next lessons.
This problem area dose not seem to have a direct impact on the subject of service, BUT it does affect service in the long run. This passage also has a GREAT impact on our understanding of God’s plan for time and eternity.
This "problem area" is of little significant of itself, BUT it spawns inaccurate doctrines and pushes out of alignment many other doctrines. The sad thing is that some of those, who are promoting this inaccurate doctrine, are good sincere people. However, simply being good and sincere does not exempt a person from comparing ALL Scripture with itself and making sure that all aspects are in perfect harmony.
Some folks are stumped by a portion in Romans 9:13 that says, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated", a reference taken from Malachi 1:1-3 . Some misguided teachers and some who have not done their "homework" say this PROVES that Jacob was predestined, by God, to heaven and Esau was predestined, by God, to hell, EVEN before they were born.