God is selective. We see it all through the Scriptures. Whenever He made a choice, He had a specific purpose in view. He wasn’t taking just anyone, He was choosing according to His plan and the service He needed.
One of His earliest choices was the nation of Israel. We might think, what a choice! But He had a purpose in view, and apparently at the time they were the most fitted for the purpose.
Moses spoke of the purpose:
Deuteronomy 7:6–7 6“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
Though the majority proved unfaithful to their calling, they were still a “chosen people,” and provided a number of outstanding characters to become part of His future Kingdom.
Out of the nation of Israel, God selected the tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron to minister to the nation in His presence. We read,
Numbers 3:5–7 5And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 6“Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. 7And they shall attend to his needs and the needs of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of meeting, to do the work of the tabernacle.
It was special service and a distinct responsibility.
Numbers 3:8 8Also they shall attend to all the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting, and to the needs of the children of Israel, to do the work of the tabernacle.
When God needed a king—rather, when Israel wanted the king—God sent Samuel to be his instrument.
Let’s take a few moments to look at the special choosing as it was done. God had a job to be done and a purpose in mind, and needed the right man. Who was it to be?
David was the “chosen” one, chosen by the God who knows “the end from the beginning.”
All through the ages God has had his watchful eye out for willing servants.
2 Chronicles 16:9 9For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
God has been searching, searching. He isn’t looking for talents He gives. He wants what the servants can give of THEMSELVES. All such become His special charge, and come into His training. They are part of His Providence, potential members of His family.
Brother Flowerday called it “God’s choosiness.” He is looking for character—courage, integrity, dedication, qualities of solid VALUE.
But the sad facts are, most have not enough energy to want to go to work and cleanse themselves even as Christ is pure so as to merit divine recognition.
God only asks us to put away habits and conduct which harm us anyway. For our own betterment we should cultivate patience, consideration, helpfulness; joy and happiness, all helping one another.
It is only that class of people that God counts of any real worth. He lets the rest go their broad, easy way. Said David himself,
Psalm 4:3 3But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him.
David had an integrity of heart that God was looking for.
Most who believe they belong to Christ are looking to the sacrifice of Christ to cover their sins, but God is just and righteous, and will reward each according to his own works. David said again:
Psalm 51:17 17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
This sacrifice is an individual affair. Not only Christ, but each member of His body or church must be crucified.
If we have a contrite heart we will not be thinking highly of “ME” but will be trembling at God’s Word, will stand in awe of God’s law. We will be watchful through the day to see what we are doing, not like the Israelites:
Exodus 32:6 6Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
No, we will sit down to eat the bread of heaven and rise up to WORK.
Jeremiah was a “chosen” servant. Even before he was born, God had laid out his career. Jeremiah said he couldn’t do it, he was too young, “only a youth.” But God was unrelenting.
Jeremiah 1:7 7… the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
His primary duties would be to go where he was sent, and speak what he was told.
His calling was fixed. Jeremiah was chosen to serve. So were Isaiah, and Amos, Obadiah, Elijah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
God spoke endearingly of His servants the prophets:
Jeremiah 7:25 25Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.
Even though most of the people were rebellious and flatly refused to listen to God’s pleading, even though…
Jeremiah 7:24 24…they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.
God’s faithful servants the prophets did their duty and did it well.
God spoke also of His servant “the branch.”
Zechariah 3:8 8Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, And thy fellows that sit before thee: For they are men wondered at: For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
The prophet here was Zechariah, and the servant the Branch is prophetic of Christ and His chosen, faithful ones, “men wondered at” but faithfully doing God’s work.
God arranged directly for the work of His servants. What was He looking for? Faithfulness—whatever the cost!
The apostle Paul spoke of himself as the Lord’s servant, even as the Lord’s prisoner. It was a commitment and a sacrifice. He was not free because he was serving Christ. He could not go where he wanted to go, or do what he had planned as a youth to do. Among the first words he heard from Jesus were:
Acts 9:15 15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
Paul was not asked what he wished to d; he was told. But he was a willing servant, even a “bondservant”—usually understood to be a volunteer slave.
He opened his letter to the Philippians with
Philippians 1:1 1Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Paul writing to Timothy said he was an apostle “by commandment of God…and Christ.”
1 Timothy 1:1 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
He was not doing as he pleased, he belonged to Christ. This was a basic requirement—then just as of us even now.
Galatians 5:16–17 16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
We cannot do both: we cannot “walk in the spirit” AND “fulfill the lust of the flesh. There is a definite reason:
17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Just as Paul was Christ’s servant, so we can be Christ’s disciples. And when we are, we are, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “bought with a price.” This changes everything about our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 19 do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit… and you are not your own? 20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God [because God did the buying, not Christ] in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
This passage could also be translated:
20For you were bought [with honor]
Being not on our own, we have high responsibility to live up to the expectations of the purchaser, which is God (not Christ): to
1 Corinthians 6:20 20… glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Being “bought,” we have sold out our “rights” to our life. We don’t belong to this world. Like Jesus’ disciples and Jesus Himself, we are “in” but not “of.” We are servants of God, not men.
What is the difference between serving God and serving men? It is an entire commitment. Paul explained the obligations of it to the Colossians:
Colossians 3:23–24 23And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Whatever we do, even now in our everyday lives, we must do it “to the Lord, not to men.”
Because we will get our “pay” from Christ.
Serving men is serving this world, its interest, even ourselves, for whatever mortals may have to offer us. But what is that compared to belonging to God’s long-range plan for the Earth?
Think of being a good and faithful servant to whom God has promised to show the “exceeding riches of his grace” in the ages to come, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
Ephesians 2:7 7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Serving God comes with compensation. it comes with great honor and eternal blessing, if we see it through to the end. How complete must our service be? Jesus said, “Follow Me.”
26If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Each of us has come to a crossroads sometime during our life when we were confronted with a serious decision: as Joshua put it, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua. 24:15). But the Lord is looking for loyal bondservants (δοῦλος) which is identified as a slave. “Slave” sounds like such a harsh and demeaning word. But what did Paul say? “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Rom 6:16).
You can’t straddle the fence, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” –– Matt. 6:24. Mammon, Mt. 6:24 and Lk. 16:13, (where it is personified and opposed to God)” Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon.
In other words, we can be loyal loving slaves of God, not miserable because we will cherish every minute of it, looking to the reward. Or we can hate God and be slaves of sin and death.
The Lord chooses His servants according to the choices we make; He only wants loyal and joyful servants. As Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua. 24:15). Whose servants had you rather be?
Let us follow Joshua’s example; the Lord will be certain to choose us in an everlasting arrangement as His dear children.