The Lord God gave me an educated tongue
to know how to respond to the weary
with a word that will awaken them in the morning.
God awakens my ear in the morning to listen,
as educated people do.
The Lord God opened my ear;
I didn’t rebel; I didn’t turn my back.
Instead, I gave my body to attackers,
and my cheeks to beard pluckers.
I didn’t hide my face
from insults and spitting.
The Lord God will help me;
therefore, I haven’t been insulted.
Therefore, I set my face like flint,
and knew I wouldn’t be ashamed.
The one who will declare me innocent is near.
Who will argue with me?
Let’s stand up together.
Who will bring judgment against me?
Let him approach me.
Look! The Lord God will help me.
Who will condemn me?
Look, they will wear out like clothing;
the moth will eat them.
As Christians, we can’t read this scripture without thinking about Jesus. Today’s verses are part of a series of passages in Isaiah that scholars call the “Servant Songs.” These sections make it clear that suffering is sometimes the price of following God’s way. Now, we usually don’t LIKE to hear that message. But here’s the reality – there are times when we really NEED to hear that message. When we’re in the thick of it, when we are trying to do the right thing but facing opposition and accusation, when people are trying to undermine and work against us, we need to know that we’re not the only ones who have been through it. These passages remind us that the victories of those who do wrong are only temporary. They may be painful, they may cost us something, but ultimately, we trust that God stands with and vindicates those who live by faith. Remember this next time you find yourself struggling: Jesus has been here too!
For Pondering & Prayer
What if Jesus hadn’t suffered? Would it have been possible for him to be the Savior WITHOUT suffering?
Who do you know that’s weary today from trying to do the right thing? What word of encouragement can you offer to sustain them?