每日诗歌: Great Is Thy Faithfulness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNZS5H9aNlY)
Isaiah 50 [Read]
Isaiah 51 [Read]
Isaiah 52 [Read]
1 Thessalonians 1 [Read]
What is an instructed tongue (Isa 50:4)? It is perplexing on the first sight, because tongue is used for giving instructions instead of receiving them. Did Isaiah make a mistake? The picture becomes clear after we finish reading the whole chapter.
Before we can have the tongue to sustain the weary, we need God to awaken our ears to listen like one being taught (50:4). The instructed tongue comes from a pair of instructed ears, and listening always proceeds instructing. The LORD awakens the prophet morning by morning (50:4), so that his word can fill his mind and heart. Then and only then, the word of comfort and wisdom can flow out of the prophet’s tongue and become a source of strength to sustain those “who walks in the dark and who has no light” (50:10).
But listening is just the beginning. Listening without submission is futile, and knowledge without acts of obedience is useless. However, submission takes tremendous courage. “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting” (50:6). Although a servant of God will not be disgraced or put to shame (50:7), he can be sure that the process will be painful. Is there a knife that does not cut or a chisel that does not chip? If so, it will be useless for the sculptor. Even though the process of cutting and chipping is extremely unpleasant, the servant will be vindicated by the master (50:8). That’s all that matters.
Now I understand. Before one can give words of comfort and instruction to help the weary, one has to go through the darkness with no light himself, stand up against the suffering and ruthless attacks, and submit under unthinkable circumstances. In other words, one has to deny himself, take up the cross, follow his Lord to the Calvary, so that he may fill up his flesh with “what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions” (Col 1:24). There is no other way.
I find this servant song comforting. This song also reminds me one of my favorite hymn: “Great is thy faithfulness”. God’s promise is “morning by morning new mercies I see”, and that is something wonderful to look forward to every morning, knowing my ears will be opened for his instructions. Amen.
Keep on reading.