Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trustworthy Servants

Trustworthy Servants
November 5, 2012
Nehemiah 1:11  "'. . . Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.'  I was cup-bearer to the king."

Nehemiah was a boy when his country was invaded by an evil king; he was subsequently exiled from his homeland, from his home in Israel.  He grew up away from familiar and was forced into servitude to other rulers who were foreign and hostile to his people and religion.  Years later, another king invaded and took Nehemiah into yet another place of exile, this time to Persia.  Nehemiah eventually found himself in the position of cup-bearer to the king of Persia.  Nehemiah, a Jew, was in a position of influence to the king of Persia (Persia, which would one day become modern day Iran).

It is interesting that the king of Persia would trust a Jew into such a high position.  Being a cup-bearer was a position of honor and trust.  It was the chief butler position and Nehemiah had to risk his life often for the job.  Because kings were a high target for assassination attempts, one couldn't be too careful.  A cup-bearer was responsible for drinking from the king's cup first, proving it didn't contain poison.  Nehemiah performed his duties with the utmost of responsibility and honor.  You'd think he might have disliked the ruler whom he served.  Yet he did his job in a respectful, trustworthy manner for a king who was not a known friend to the children of Israel, a nation of Jews.

Nehemiah teaches us a lot about being a true servant and later an effective leader.  Eventually Nehemiah would lead his people into rebuilding their country and becoming a governor.  But before that, he was a cup-bearer to a hostile king.  He had to serve another man who did not uphold the same values that were dear to Nehemiah.  He had to risk his life for another man who did not respect the Lord or His people.  If you read the first few lines from the book of Nehemiah, you'll see that he prayed fervently that the Lord would grant him favor with this foreign king.  Nehemiah didn't try to assassinate the king, he served him as if he was serving the Lord.  Nehemiah, before he proved he could be a leader, proved he was trustworthy as a servant in a world where character didn't matter.  Nehemiah knew that character was important to the Lord and so he lived his life in such a way as to prove that character every day during his service.  Nehemiah proved that everyone, even a hostile king, could trust him with their lives.

Today, there are very few political leaders that I would suggest we could trust with our lives.  But the question is, can they trust you and me with THEIR lives.  Would we serve them like Nehemiah did for the king?  Are we servants of the same caliber as Nehemiah?  If a modern day king, who was not a fan of your values, asked you for your trustworthy service, would you grant it?  Would you serve him like you serve the Lord?  The Bible says that we are to respect those in authority over us and serve them as trustworthy servants of the Lord.  Being a trustworthy servant is the first step to becoming a noble leader.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:   Nehemiah 1, Romans 13:1-4, 1 Tim 2:1-3,  Heb 13:7, Peter 2:13

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