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Will We Be His Servants?

I am on vacation this week—at home but taking a break from the web design that keeps me busy day after day. Sometimes I relax by writing; other times I relax by not writing. I don’t know yet whether this vacation will see more of the former or the latter. My plans for today involve taking my son to swimming lessons, heading to Ikea to look at some living room furniture to replace the now-tattered couches we’ve had since we got married (useless fact—we live exactly equidistant from two Ikeas, both of which are 22.4 kilometers away), taking the car for an oil change and spending a bit of time reading. It sounds like the makings of an okay day.

Today I wanted to share just a short reflection on something I read in the Bible—a little reflection on Jeremiah 25:9. Here are verses 8 and 9:

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation.

What always stands out to me in these verses are the words “my servant Nebuchadnezzar.” If you’ve read the account of King Nebuchadnezzar as it is found in the book of Daniel, you’ll know that he was not a man who submitted his life to God. While at a point he was forced to acknowledge that Daniel’s God was the true God, he never submitted to his authority and acknowledged him as the only God. The Bible gives us little reason to hope that Nebuchadnezzar ever turned from his sin and cast himself upon the Lord.

Despite Nebuchadnezzar’s sinfulness and his rejection of God, we see that God calls him a servant—his servant. Now we are accustomed to thinking of God’s servants in the way Paul speaks of himself—a bond servant dedicated to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Yet here we find an unrepentant man, unregenerate man also being called a servant. I guess this should come as no surprise. Jesus Himself spoke of “wicked servants” in his parables, showing that there are two types of servants, the willing and the unwilling. In either case, this person is subject to God and must bow before his authority, whether he wishes to or not.

So the question for you and for me is this: will we be God’s willing servant? Will we be the kind of servants who bow before God as master and seek to lovingly and obediently carry out his will? Or will we be among those wicked and evil servants who are subject to God, but who refuse to acknowledge his superiority? Will we be submissive as servants should be or will we seek to usurp the role of the Master?

God help us to be faithful, submissive, willing servants.