2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 7, May 6-12, Servant Leadership
Wednesday, May 10
“The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.” KJV, Proverbs 3:33, 34, emphasis added.
“He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” KJV, Proverbs 15:32, 33, emphasis added.
“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.” KJV, Proverbs 22:4.
“The attention of Elijah was attracted to Elisha, the son of Shaphat, who with the servants was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. He was educator, director, and worker. Elisha did not live in the thickly populated cities. His father was a tiller of the soil, a farmer. Far from city and court dissipation, Elisha had received his education. He had been trained in habits of simplicity, of obedience to his parents and to God. Thus in quietude and contentment he was prepared to do the humble work of cultivating the soil. But though of a meek and quiet spirit, Elisha had no changeable character. Integrity and fidelity and the love and fear of God were his. He had the characteristics of a ruler, but with it all was the meekness of one who would serve. His mind had been exercised in the little things, to be faithful in whatsoever he should do; so that if God should call him to act more directly for him, he would be prepared to hear his voice.
“The surroundings of Elisha’s home were those of wealth; but he realized that in order to obtain an all-round education, he must be a constant worker in any work that needed to be done. He had not consented to be in any respect less informed than his father’s servants. He had learned how to serve first, that he might know how to lead, instruct, and command.
“Elisha waited contentedly, doing his work with fidelity. Day by day, through practical obedience and the divine grace in which he trusted, he obtained rectitude and strength of purpose. While doing all that he possibly could in co-operating with his father in the home firm, he was doing God’s service. He was learning how to co-operate with God.” (Ellen White, Youth’s Instructor, April 14, 1898, emphasis added.)
“I saw that the enemy is busy to destroy souls. Exaltation has come into the ranks; there must be more humility. There is too much of an independence of spirit indulged in among the messengers. This must be laid aside, and there must be a drawing together of the servants of God. There has been too much of a spirit to ask, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Said the angel: ‘Yea, thou art thy brother’s keeper. Thou shouldest have a watchful care for thy brother, be interested for his welfare, and cherish a kind, loving spirit toward him. Press together, press together.’ God designed that man should be openhearted and honest, without affectation, meek, humble, with simplicity. This is the principle of heaven; God ordered it so. But poor, frail man has sought out something different—to follow his own way, and carefully attend to his own self-interest.
“I asked the angel why simplicity had been shut out from the church, and pride and exaltation had come in. I saw that this is the reason why we have almost been delivered into the hand of the enemy. Said the angel: ‘Look ye, and ye shall see that this feeling prevails: Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Again said the angel: ‘Thou art thy brother’s keeper. Thy profession, thy faith, requires thee to deny thyself and sacrifice to God, or thou wilt be unworthy of eternal life; for it was purchased for thee dearly, even by the agony, the sufferings, and blood of the beloved Son of God.'” (Ellen White, Vol. 1, Testimonies for the Church, 113, 114, emphasis added.)