Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Isaiah 50:4-9 Taught to Teach

KEY TEXT: Isaiah 50:4-6 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. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. 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.

KEY THOT: This Isaiah passage is a messianic text that expresses Jesus' suffering and humiliation at his trial on the night of his betrayal. His back was flogged by the Roman soldiers. His face was struck and beard pulled by temple guards who also spit on him. What sustained him through this intense humiliation is his obedience to the voice of God: "The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward" (v.5). Jesus described himself as a man who has been taught by God: "Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught" (v.4). Only those who have been taught by God are able to remain steadfast in tough times: "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" (v.7). Jesus was able to set his face like a flint (unwavering and focused) towards Jerusalem to be tried and condemned because he was a man who has been taught by God.

To be taught by God rather than by men is the key to unwavering faith and a fruitful ministry. Because he was taught by God, he was therefore able to teach others: "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" (v.4). Only those who have been taught by God can really teach others to sustain and revive them. While we may start off in our Christian walk by being taught by human teachers, as we mature in our faith, we must learn to be taught by God alone.

May our ears be open to be taught by God himself like Jesus, so that like him, we can teach others and be steadfast in the midst of our trial.

Father, deliver us from preconceived ideas so that our ears are opened to hear Your voice again. May we be always learning and always being taught by Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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