Wakened to Listen
Jesus, You endured suffering and death so that we might gain heaven. I worship You now.
Read Isaiah 50:1–11
This is what the Lord says:
“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce
with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors
did I sell you?
Because of your sins you were sold;
because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2 When I came, why was there no one?
When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Was my arm too short to deliver you?
Do I lack the strength to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
I turn rivers into a desert;
their fish rot for lack of water
and die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with darkness
and make sackcloth its covering.”
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
I have not been rebellious,
I have not turned away.
6 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.
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me?
Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
Let him confront me!
9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
the moths will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does it mean to you to know that the Lord is on your side?
What shall we make of the Lord’s servant (10)? He seems to be weak and powerless, having a terrible time as his oppressors torture him (6). But appearances are actually deceptive, for all his suffering is only happening because this was the Sovereign Lord’s plan.
The servant comes to bring blessing through his words, learned from the Sovereign Lord (4). He understands that his path must involve suffering, and like a truly obedient son he is not rebellious but trusts the Lord (5). He does not try to run from abuse and pain.
Note the servant’s determination. He sets his face like flint (7; Luke 9:51). He knows that the Sovereign Lord is helping him and will vindicate him. The future belongs to him, not his oppressors (9).
In Romans 8 Paul adapts this passage to encourage us in all our persecutions. We know that in Christ we can never be condemned (Rom. 8:1,33,34). So do not fear what seems like disgrace now. Christ has died for us and is interceding for us! And do not think any suffering can stop you from experiencing God’s love, for no suffering will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ (Rom. 8:39)!
If you are suffering and don’t understand why, keep trusting God, knowing that any way but his leads only to torment (10,11).
Sovereign Lord, I trust You. Do with my life as You will; I am Yours—all I have and all I am.
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