Sovereign and Servant

Dancing in the Kingdom – Table of Contents

Part 1 – Shadows of the Kingdom, Chapter 2 – The God who created

[Bible references: Proverbs 1:20-23; 3:19; Isaiah 52:10-15; Romans 11:33-35; Philippians 2:1-11]

There is a contemporary name for this juxtaposition of attributes: servant leadership. In this case, the one who is the creator and sustainer of all things does not wield that power in a self-centered way but uses that power to serve the needs of the very beings he created – even though they defied his authority and it cost him much anguish.

When the Creator decided to make creatures in his image, creatures that had the ability to love (and therefore the ability to choose whom to love or whom to not love), he imbued these creatures with the ability to make independent decisions. Doing that required releasing some control and then providing enough space be given so that those creatures would be free to make choices.

However, those creatures violated that love and incurred an awful penalty. Fortunately, the Creator did not just mete out the penalty, but with compassion, and at great cost to himself, put in place a plan that would restore his relationship with his image-bearers. This costly plan would highlight an attribute that already had been revealed, the attribute of servanthood in which the Creator acts on behalf of his creatures.

Not to be overlooked, the ability to create and sustain the universe needs tremendous knowledge and wisdom as does the ability to create creatures in his image and then to guide them amid their missteps and varied circumstances. Were God to simply control each and every action in the universe, that would be difficult enough, but although God can control things directly through his sovereign will, there are actions which he desires but he gives us the option to obey or not.[1] We cannot even begin to understand the vast knowledge and wisdom that God needs. In fact, wisdom is so pervasive, not only in creation but as part of the many ways God interacts with us, that Wisdom is metaphorically portrayed to us in Proverbs as a person.


[1] Piper, John, “What is the Will of God and How Do We Know It” Desiring God, 22 Aug 2004, http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/what-is-the-will-of-god-and-how-do-we-know-it

Reflect

God’s rule is contingent on God’s love. His power is not focused on controlling but on releasing his image-bearers to participate with him in taking care of his creation and of each other. In what ways do humans misuse their power over others?

Observe

Read Isaiah 52:13-15; Philippians 2:5-11. If Jesus is our example of leadership, what should our leadership look like in practice?

Author: transcendenttouched

I have been teaching the Bible to children and adults for over twenty years. Most recently, including teaching Discipleship/Confirmation classes. I have also been involved in various church leadership roles for many of those years. Until recently, my writing endeavors have been confined mainly to poetry. I've written an anthology of my first 40 years of writing poetry in my book, Growing. I have also written an overview of the Bible called, God Reveals Himself.

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