The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning; He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient nor did I turn back. Isaiah 50:4-5 NASB
The Lord has given
Sometimes I worry about whether I have anything encouraging or uplifting to share, but the beginning of this scripture has me covered. It reassures me that God has already given me what I need, or what I think I lack. 2 Peter 1:3 states “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
He has given me everything pertaining for life and godliness. The Passion Translation explains it this way, “Everything that we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by His divine power”. The Message Bible says “everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know personally and intimately the One who invited us to God.”
This exceeding wonderful promise is not just for a few but for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ.
What has He given me?
The Lord God has given me the tongue of the disciples. He has given me the tongue of one who has been taught – a disciple. A disciple is defined as one who embraces and assist in spreading the teachings of another. An active adherent, often means a follower of Jesus Christ. Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” As disciples of Jesus Christ our tongues ought to be expressing Life, after all Jesus our Lord and Master said in John 6:63 …… the words I have spoken to you they are spirit and they are life. Therefore, what we have been given is the tongue of one who speaks life.
Why has this gift been given?
Simply put, …that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in River Jordan, He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. After the fast, understandably He was hungry. The devil shows up to tempt Him, and asked Jesus to turn the stones into bread if He is the Son of God. Jesus responds that Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
Jesus emphasizing that we live by the Word of God. The Word of God is what sustains us and not just bread, although bread is seen a staple in many diets across the world. It is still by His Word that we are sustained. Many people are weary. There is a lot in life to make us weary. The situation with Covid-19 has made a lot more people weary to say the least. From doctors and nurses to the people being cared for. For everyone in between providing essential service, not to mention those whose loved ones are no more. We have all had to rethink the way we live.
As believers, we have been given the tongue of the disciples so that we can encourage the weary in our midst. Often, that encouragement starts with ourselves as we seek to remind ourselves of the promises and goodness of God especially during dark times.
When & How does God do this?
…. By waking me up morning by morning says Isaiah 50:4. God is the first One to say Good morning to us as He awakens us. My response back upon waking should be, “Good Morning Lord” and express my thanks and praise for a new day. “Not Good Lord! It’s morning!” and then jump up to start rushing through the day! The Message Bible states
He wakes me up in the morning,
Wakes me up, opens my ears
to listen as one ready to take orders.
The Master, God, opened my ears,
and I didn’t go back to sleep,
didn’t pull the covers back over my head.
When I read those last three lines, I was like, wait a minute did someone tell Eugene H. Peterson, the author of The Message Bible about me? ? Nothing I like better than snoozing the alarm, pulling the covers over my head and going back to sleep! Seriously though, Isaiah 50:4 starts by telling us that God wakes us in the morning.
Morning by morning – this is a daily affair. We need to report for our orders every day. In practical terms this may be tricky for some, whether because you work a shift pattern and mornings find you already at your job, or you have babies or young children and your mornings are highly unpredictable. Or because of health issues mornings are real struggle for you. This verse is not meant to be guilt inducing! Wherever you are able to carve the space in your daily routine to hear your Father speak to you, please do. What you have to say depends on it!
Isaiah 50:4 starts off by saying God has given me the tongue of the disciple and later tells us that God has opened my hear. This is because the mouth can only speak what the ear has heard. As the world reels from the effects of COVID-19, we as the children of God, who have been taught of the Lord need to be able to speak a sustaining word to the weary.
In Romans Chapter 10, Paul the apostle lays a foundation for coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He gives a timeline for salvation. That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Paul goes on to say that whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed. He points out that there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek. For the same Lord is abounding in riches for all who call upon Him.
Therefore, that ought to encourage us that there is no distinction between the weary Jew and the weary Greek, the same Lord is Lord of all…….
Paul further poses a series of questions; “how will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?”
“How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher?”
“How will they preach unless they are sent?”
Permit me to add a couple of questions here –
How will the preachers be sent if they have not heard? How will we speak if we have not heard?
How will they hear if they do not accept God’s morning by morning invitation to listen as a disciple?
My additional questions are at its best unrefined, but you get picture.
Paul says faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. The word of Christ is the word we have been entrusted with, as disciples of Christ, to give to the weary one to sustain him. The faith which is rooted in what God has to say to us comes through hearing. This is why, it is imperative that when the Lord opens our ears, we are not disobedient and turn back.
Today may you and I take comfort in the fact that, God has already given us the tongue of the disciples. We need not fear that we will have nothing encouraging to say as it says in Roman 10:8 “…..The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart – that is, the word of faith which we are preaching”. As a result of what He has given us, we know how to sustain the weary one with a word because we keep our (morning) appointments with him. We do this with joy because we are part of the of the- beautiful- feet army -of- the- Lord. (Romans 10:15)
In Mark 7:31-35 NIV the story is told of Jesus’ encounter with a deaf man who spoke with difficulty. Jesus was implored to lay hands on him. Verse 33 tells us Jesus took him aside from the crowd by himself.
Often, the journey to hearing God clearly, begins with us coming aside from the noise of the crowd. It begins with allowing the lover of our souls to take us aside that he may speak a word to us.
“…………..Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.”
Notice the sequence. Scripture says, the man’s ears were opened with a word from Jesus, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. The tongue can only speak as well as what the ears hear.
Wherever we are, whatever our skills and abilities are, however we are playing our part in the coming days and months, we have been given joyful duty of sustaining the weary with a word. Sometimes, weariness is not apparent, and we need the gift of discernment. But as we yield to the Lord and with the help of the Holy Spirit, our ability to become more effective with what He has given us is increased.
Thanks for reading