The Lord does not need us to be faithful and obedient; He wants us to be faithful and obedient (Acts 17:24-26). He desires a relationship with us, not ignorant servitude (Hosea 6:6). But He is God and He does not need us to do a single thing. He allows us to take part in His work. It is our privilege that He considers us His sons and daughters, His royal priesthood, and His chosen nation called out of the world to be distinctively His. That is our honor and His joy. But if we do not do what The Lord asks, He is no worse off. His will will be done.
Take for instance Jeroboam II, he did evil in the sight of the Lord. He followed in the footsteps of his namesake and led Israel to sin in wrong worship, yet The Lord still chose to use him to save His people. Verses 23-25 reads,
“In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. 24 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. 25 He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea ofthe Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher.”
Even though Jeroboam did evil in His sight, The Lord spoke to him through Jonah and allowed him to restore Israel’s border. This was the same Jonah who rebelled against The Lord and did not want to speak to Evil Nineveh, because he knew God’s great mercy would save them (Jonah 1:1). Yet he eventually obeyed The Lord in Nineveh and he obeyed the Lord in Samaria. He spoke to Jeroboam and he obeyed.
The Lord does not need anyone, including you and me to do anything. He is The LORD. Isaiah 63:4-9 describes how He will save and has saved Israel and the entire world through her without any help from men.
“For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and my year of redemption had come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
and my wrath upheld me.
6 I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
I made them drunk in my wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
7 I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord,
the praises of the Lord,
according to all that the Lord has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8 For he said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely.”
And he became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction he was afflicted,
and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Why would God want to save Israel when it seems all they did was evil and idolatry? Because God is merciful and kind, He loves Israel. He allowed her to be brought down many times so that they would turn to Him, but He would not let her be completely destroyed. Verses 26-29 read,
“For the Lord saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter, for there was none left, bond or free, and there was none to help Israel. 27 But theLord had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.
28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam and all that he did, and his might, how he fought, and how he restored Damascus and Hamath to Judah in Israel, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, the kings of Israel, and Zechariah his son.”
Why did God save Israel? Israel was His treasured possession, so he sent prophet after prophet to her to get her to turn from idolatry to Him. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 23:37-38,
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate.”
Believer, The Lord chose you as well. He loves you. He sends you prophets, wise men, teachers, and servants to speak to you. He speaks to you Himself. He gave you His Word. He wants you to hear and obey, not because He needs you but because He wants to give you His complete joy in perfect relationship with Him. He wants to bless you beyond your imagination (Psalm 84:11-12). But you and I are far from perfect. In response to His love we strive to continue developing His character. The more we obey, the more we delight in Him, the more we will be able to enjoy the blessings and gifts he pours out on us and the better able we will be to do the good works He created us to do.
God saved Israel through Jeroboam’s obedience, even though he did not have faith and did not worship the Lord in truth. God used Jonah even through his rebellion and pride. God can use anyone. It does not have to be you and me. But it can be and it should be! If we love Him, we obey Him (John 14:15). If we love Him, we love and take care of one another (John 21:15-19). If we love Him with our entire being, we love other people (Matthew 22:36-40). Our love for God is reflected in our love for people. It is how He is glorified, it is how we obey, and it is how others will know who Jesus Christ is. 1 John 4:10-14 reads,
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”
And John 13:31-35 says,
“When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
That obedience and love is an outpouring and response to God’s love for us, for who God is, and for who we are in Christ. We do not do the work of God to earn his love, we do it because He loves us so much already. We cannot save ourselves. Ephesians 2:4-10 reads,
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
It is an honor to serve God. He doesn’t need us to serve Him, He allows us to serve Him.
Ephesians 3:6-8 says,
“This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,”
Why is The Lord our God? Does He need us? Does it give Him anything to be our God? Job 22:2-4 reads,
“Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
4 Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
and enters into judgment with you?”
God created us, not because He was lonely, He was never lonely. He has always been Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He created us because He is Love (1 John 4:8) and He wants to share that love with us. I want to leave you with this encouragement from Ephesians 3:14-21.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”