Holy Week: Wednesday, Isaiah 50:4-9
The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. 6 I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. 7 But the Lord God helps me; therefore, I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
Taught. “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Those who are “taught” or “the learned” are disciples, followers who have an intimate connection with a Master Teacher.
Awakens. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear.” What does it look like for your ears to be “awakened” each morning to hear the Lord? “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Morning by morning signifies the daily, ever-present, life-long faithfulness of God to meet us, to awaken our spirits, open our ears and beckon us to follow. How are we using new opportunities to wake up early, to be in silence and solitude to hear the Lord God?
No Shame. Face Like a Flint. “I have set my face like a flint; and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. The Lord God helps me.” The Servant’s steadfast determination is solid as rock and his trust in his Father, the Lord God absolutely immovable as he submits to public humiliation. In any culture, this kind of meek and silent submission seems an admission of guilt. But the Servant declares, “No Shame” because he suffered out of obedience, not disobedience. Therefore God declares him innocent. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21) “Let us look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 2:12) The Servant walks with resolute determination into humiliation and abuse, with a face like a flint, knowing the final outcome, a display of resurrection glory. Jesus in his final hours prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.”
Prayer. Unlike you Jesus, I am guilty of disobedience, yet you hear my cry for forgiveness and heal my shame. O God forgive me, help me listen, to hear your voice, to keep my eyes open. I choose to be pruned by your sharp sword and sustained with your Word. Rescue me O Lord. Awaken Me Every Morning.