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October 8 – The King and his servants

But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Mark 10:43-45

Scripture reading: 1 Kings 18:1-18

Ahab and Jezebel are opposed to God and His Church. Jezebel, aggressively so. That wicked woman cuts off the prophets of the Lord as she seeks to eradicate God’s worship. We wouldn’t do that, of course, but we need to guard against a more sophisticated way of killing the Lord’s prophets, like listening to preaching without submitting to it.

Then there is King Ahab. He ignores the plight of his people, but cares for his animals of war, trusting in them for victory rather than in the Lord. He also ignores his soul. He pursues grass and not the grace that would remove God’s wrath and bring blessing to his parched soul and realm. Too many within the church imitate him, giving their best energy to pursue what will wither rather than God’s enduring blessings. They care more about grass than grace. And how stubborn Ahab is! Repentance would bring blessing to him, his people, and his animals. But how the human heart resists repentance.

God has His own amidst the apostasy of His Church. There is Elijah and at least 100 other prophets hidden by God’s faithful servant Obadiah. Rather than suggesting that Obadiah compromised to be employed by an enemy of the Church, the passage highlights his devotion to the Lord. Admittedly, Obadiah does hesitate to go public with his devotion but finally agrees when Elijah reminds him of the big God they serve, the Lord of hosts. Aren’t you grateful that Christ cares more for His subjects than Ahab did and is willing to bear God’s wrath for their blessing? And doesn’t this spur you on to serve Him faithfully, whatever the cost?

Suggestions for prayer

Give thanks for our servant King, the Lord Jesus and ask God that by His Spirit we would be faithful servants of Christ and not exhibit the characteristics of the enemies of the gospel.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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