The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
~~ Isaiah 50:4-11 (KJV)
Although these verses really speak of the coming Messiah, they can also be said of the devoted Christian.
The Lord God has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. Our tongues can know the words God would have us speak. We need only to listen to Him, read His word, obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
God does not speak to us simply to tickle our ears and give us something about which to be smug and supercilious. He speaks to us for the good of His body, the church universal.
Look at the progression here. He wakens me morning by morning — every morning — to listen like an avid learner listens to a favorite teacher.
Who wakens us? The Lord God. It appears four times in this passage. The Lord God. When God is our Lord, there is nothing the world can do to shake us and our security in Him.
The second part of the progression is “I have not been rebellious.” We cannot put our wills against the will of God and be either right or successful.
The third part is “I have not turned back.” I have not been timid nor slow to obey what my ears have heard. When we listen to God, our obedience must be immediate. We are not to question God’s directives. There is a time for doing each thing. If we miss the time because of reluctance or timidity, we have actually been disobedient. Not a thing which a child of God should wish.
The fourth part of this progression is one I’d just as soon not look at. I offered my back to those who beat me… This is definitely a picture of Christ at His trials before the crucifixion. And it goes on with the pulled beard and mocking and spitting. Ugh!
I’d just as soon not have to go through stuff like this. But He did. And if He did, those of us who bear His name will go through similar trials as well. Don’t take my word for it.
Jesus is speaking here: John 16: 33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
And this is the end of our progression. If our Sovereign Lord has overcome the world, if He is our vindication, then nothing the world can do to us will have any lasting effect in eternity.
Help us to be eager to listen and swift to obey. Keep us faithful in Your service no matter how the world responds to us.
In Jesus’ most precious name.