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Bible Study: A Servant Attitude - Epiphany 2 Old Testament

Text: Isaiah 49:1-7 for the Second Sunday after Epiphany, lectionary series A

Download a PDF of the Bible Study: A Servant Attitude - Epiphany 2 Old Testament


Participants will:
1.Recognize that Jesus was God's servant, chosen to restore Israel and bring salvation to the Gentiles.
2.Recognize that they are God's servants, chosen to continue His work.


Materials Needed
Poster board (enough for each individual or small group)
Construction paper, scissors, glue, glitter, magic markers, crayons
Yarn, ribbon, cotton bals and other materials for creating obstacles


Before participants arrive, on each poster board write "start" in one corner and "finish" in the opposite corner. Participants will make a path which includes obstacles from start to finish.


Building Community
1.When participants arrive, divide them (individually or in small groups) into "islands" or "distant countries." When all have arrived, ask each individual or group to follow the directions below:

Group 1 - ISLANDS: You are traveling by boat to a deserted island off a coastline. What are some obstacles which may come between you and your destination? Using the entire poster board and the materials provided, make a path which includes obstacles that might prevent you from reaching your destination.

Group 2 - DISTANT COUNTRIES: You are traveling by foot to a distant country. Name some of the possible obstacles you might encounter. Using the entire poster board and the materials provided, make a path which includes obstacles that might prevent you from reaching your destination.

2.When all have completed their maps, bring the entire group together. Ask volunteers to show their completed maps and explain the obstacles. Compare the obstacles to what separates us from God. (Use the following examples only if necessary:

Group 1                                                      Group 2
Waves = Trouble                                        Mountains = Expectations
High tide = High pride                                  Valleys = Depression
Low tide = Low self-esteem                         Wild beasts = The devil
Rocky shoreline = Thick outer shell               Jungle = Daily pressures
Sharks = Temptations of devil                      Enemies = Worldly temptations
No wind = Poor attitude                               Rivers = The "In" crowd washing us downstream
Too much wind = Pulled off course by           Shipwreck = Loss of health
earthly distractions


Looking at God's Word
Have volunteers read Isaiah 49:1-7. The verses lend themselves to dividing into three parts: "Servant of the Lord," "Narrator," and "The Lord." Discuss the following questions as a group:

1.Who are the "islands" and "distant countries" in verse 1?

2.Is your present relationship with God more of an "island" or "distant country"? Why? Name some obstacles which presently get in the way of your faith toward God?

3.Isaiah 49:1-3 says the Servant of the Lord was called for a specific task. What words suggest this was an important task in the sight of the Lord?

4.What obstacles did he face? See Isaiah 49:7 and Hebrews 2:17-18. Compare these obstacles with those from your maps.

5.Did the servant receive immediate results from his labor? What attitude is shown by the servant toward the Lord in verse 4?

6.According to verses 5-6, was this attitude rewarded? How? Who benefited from the Servant's attitude? (Compare verse 1 and verse 6)

7.Read 1 Peter 2:9-10 individually and then answer these questions: To what task has God called you? What attitude will you show as you carry out your task? Share your responses with your group.


Reinforcing What Has Been Learned
Take five minutes to complete the following phrase in as many ways as possible: "From this study I realize that..." Then share this list within the group.


Close by joining in a circle prayer, allowing each person to complete this sentence by naming a person, place or thing: "Lord, give me a servant attitude..." (Examples: at home, with friends, in school, etc.)


Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies V, studies on the Old Testament readings for lectionary series A, in 1992.


Republished and revised in January 2014 for thESource.


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