Servants of the word

By Not Known

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tiding, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’ (Is 52:7).

As placed in Isaiah, these words are about those people who would announce the God’s new covenant in Jesus. They would tell of a new work of God’s grace. This work of grace is a joy to those who hear it. It is a message about God – that he reigns in salvation and that human sin does not have the last word.

Isaiah’s concern is with those who bring the message. He expresses the joy of their task through the imagery of beautiful feet.

We find similar messages in other parts of Scripture. Church leaders who have the particular ministry of preaching and teaching are to be given ‘double honour’ and God’s people are told to remember those who brought God’s word to them and to Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith (1 Tim 5:17; Heb 13:7). The other side of this is a concern that those who teach the word exercise special care, for they will be judged by stricter criteria (Jas 3:1).

At ORPC we have many people who have the honour and responsibility of being Bible teachers. Quite apart from our staff, this includes Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, youth ministry speakers and those men and women who teach and apply the Bible in individual conversations and many other varied settings inside and outside of the church.

In this morning’s service we are studying the transition from Elijah to Elisha as God’s spokesmen in Old Testament times (1 Ki 19:19-21). The wrapping of Elijah’s cloak around Elisha is symbolic of the transfer of responsibilities. Note what follows next. Elijah severs his home ties by destroying his farm equipment. This speaks of a determined dedication to give his all to his new service and a refusal to be distracted by other things.

Most of our congregational Bible teachers cannot be dedicated full time to this task, for they have employment and family responsibilities. It is therefore all the more important that we pray for these people. Pray that they will devote themselves to this task, be diligent in it, give themselves wholly to it and watch both their life and their doctrine (1 Tim 4:13-16).