Listen like one being taught: Isaiah 50 (17 June 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Isaiah 50

In verse 4 of this chapter, the prophet Isaiah says that God has given him ‘the tongue of a teacher’ – but notice that he also tells us how he listens to God ‘as those who are taught’. The two activities are linked: first he listens and learns; then he teaches others. And his teaching is not merely head-knowledge; it is compassionate and pastoral. He knows ‘how to sustain the weary with a word’. It seems that he is passing on the sustenance and encouragement that he has received from God.

We see the same pattern – receiving from God and then giving out to others – elsewhere in the Bible. In 2 Corinthians 1.3–4, Paul says that ‘God … consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God’. Also, in the most practical context, Jesus teaches his disciples, ‘If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet’ (John 13.14).

If we wish to teach or minister to other people, we must first be humble enough to learn and receive ministry from God himself. Our learning needs to be continual, too: the prophet listens to God ‘morning by morning’, not just once in a while. This discipline is well worthwhile, though, if it enables us to share in God’s own ability to strengthen and encourage the weary.

Pray

Pray

Thank you, Father God, for the times when we have been weary and received a sustaining word from you. Help us to listen carefully to you, so that we can pass on your strength to others.

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759