THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2011
THE HORN OF SALVATION
December 24, 2010
2 Samuel 7:1-16
is the awesome Almighty. He rules the raging sea, He crushes
His foes with His strong arm, He is the Creator who founded
the heavens and the earth (Ps 89:10-12). No one is like our
God. “Who in the skies ranks with the Lord? Who is like
the Lord among the gods? A God dreaded in the council of the
holy ones, greater and more awesome than all who sit there!
Lord, God of hosts, who is like you?” (Ps 89:7-9a).
A main characteristic of our awesome God is His strength.
“Mighty your arm, strong your hand” (Ps 89:14a).
God uses human instruments to do His will on earth. This was
the case with David. “I have chosen David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him.” (Ps 89:21). How
God chooses an instrument is a mystery. In fact, God often
chooses not the best and the brightest, but the least and
the lowliest. When God decided to choose the successor of
King Saul to come from the sons of Jesse, Jesse presented
seven sons to the prophet Samuel, and perhaps did not even
think about his youngest son, David, who, unlike his warrior
sons, was a tender of sheep. God told Samuel about His manner
of choosing: “Not as man sees does God see, because
man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.”
(1 Sm 16:7b). So God chose David. “It was I who took
you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be
commander of my people Israel.” (2 Sm 7:8b).
when God chooses, He anoints, and with His anointing goes
His strength. “My hand will be with him; my arm will
make him strong.” (Ps 89:22). But of course, since God
intends to accomplish His will through His chosen instrument.
God is about a mighty work in the world, and this is accomplished
by His instruments only through His own strength. And so it
was in the case of David. “I have been with you wherever
you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.”
(2 Sm 7:9a). When God uses an instrument, it is He who is
at work, and it is His strength that is manifested.
also calls a people, not just individuals. Like Israel. When
God calls a people, He enters into an intimate personal relationship
with them. They become a “people who know (the) Lord,
who walk in the radiance of (His) face.” (Ps 89:16).
And again, as God intends to use His people as His instrument,
it is He Himself who becomes their strength. “You are
their majestic strength” (Ps 89:18a).
God calls many others to serve Him. Among those He called
was John the Baptist. He is the same God who called David
and who raised Israel. He still has the very same purpose
in doing so, that is, to manifest His glory to the world and
to confer the fullness of His life. The fullness of God’s
life is the ultimate meaning of salvation. “Blessed
be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought
redemption to his people. He has raised up a horn for our
salvation within the house of David his servant.” (Lk
God calls us. Like John the Baptist, we are called to “go
before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge
of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.”
(Lk 1:76b-77). This is our work of evangelization and mission.
We proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus, help bring
people to a personal relationship with him, and help prepare
the world for his second coming in glory.
That is some work! Indeed, for it is God’s very own
work. And we are just His instruments. But who are we to do
divine work? That is why, just like David, Israel and John,
it is God Himself who strengthens us. We look to God’s
strength. God does His part by raising “up a horn for
our salvation” (Lk 1:69a). The horn is a common Old
Testament symbol for strength. And the “saving horn”
is God Himself (Ps 18:3).
God’s instrument we are totally dependent upon Him.
But according to God’s own intent, He does favor His
people and give His strength to His instruments. And by His
strength, acting on His behalf as His instrument, we indeed
can do the mighty acts of God and accomplish His divine purpose.
“You are their majestic strength; by your favor our
horn is exalted.” (Ps 89:18). God’s strength is
we stand in God’s place. God is the Most High. But God,
in choosing and anointing David as His servant (Ps 89:21),
made “him firstborn, Most High over the kings of the
earth.” (Ps 89:28). We of course do not become God,
but we become like Him, in power and dominion in the world,
because we are acting on His behalf. As God rules over all
of creation, so David, His instrument, ruled over earthly
the Baptist was called to be God’s spokesperson, to
stand in His place as His prophet. “And you, child,
will be called prophet of the Most High” (Lk 1:76a).
In the same way, we are called to proclaim the good news of
salvation. This prepares the world for the second coming of
Jesus. Like John, we “will go before the Lord to prepare
his ways” (Lk 1:76b).
God calls, and we must respond. How? Our relationship with
God, by which He is able to use us as His instruments, is
governed by the covenant. If we are to become what God wants
us to become, we must live our covenant.
need to take our covenant seriously. Because it is about the
very relationship we have with the Almighty God. If we are
in awe of God, then we obey Him. If we do not, God chastises
and punishes us. “And if he does wrong, I will correct
him with the rod of men and with human chastisements”
(2 Sm 7:14b). Why does God punish those He loves? Because
God is our Father and we are His children (2 Sm 7:14a). And
this is how God treats His beloved children (Heb 12:5-8).
when we veered away and when we had our infidelities, God
punished us. But God will not discard His people, no matter
how unfaithful they become (unless they persist). God remembers
His covenant with His people. He is “mindful of his
holy covenant” (Lk 1:72b). He reminds Himself: “I
have made a covenant with my chosen one” (Ps 89:4a).
If only we took our covenant as seriously as God does! This
is how awesome our God is. His love and faithfulness is eternal.
“Forever I will maintain my love for him; my covenant
with him stands forever.” (Ps 89:29).
We indeed are a most fortunate people, to have such a God,
to be instruments of such a majestic divine task. Let us live
our covenant to the full, in order that we might truly become
worthy and strong instruments.
are children and servants of God. CFC-FFL is a creation of
God. May we be like John the Baptist. “The child grew
and became strong in spirit” (Lk 1:80a). As we live
according to God’s ways, may we be able to aver, “My
God is now my strength!”
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Theme for 2011-Part8 [PDF]