Tucked away in the book of Isaiah is a personal note offered by the preincarnate Lord Jesus regarding his calling among men. It speaks to God’s faithful provision in a world desperate for hope and spiritual healing. Isaiah 50:4 begins with these descriptive words: The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.
Immediately Jesus acknowledges the source of his empowerment among the people. It is from God that the resources for Jesus’ ministry as the Ultimate Servant come. And the provision is an instructed tongue that sustains the weary. God, recognizing the soul-exhaustion of humanity, has provided relief through his Ultimate Servant and the Word.
But the resources available to Jesus are not confined to place and time. Notice in verse 5 how Jesus characterizes the consistent nurture of his Father: He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.
Faithfully. Consistently. Daily! And note that there is a sense of eagerness on our Father’s part. He wakens . . . the Sovereign LORD has opened. God is ready and willing to provide. What is required of the servant is availability. “I have not been rebellious,” he states. “I have not drawn back.” As a careful glance at the entire passage suggests, this Ultimate Servant surrendered the ultimate sacrifice—Himself! Not a token offering—but a complete surrendering. And Jesus carries on with confidence in his work.
Why? Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Jesus knows who is the source of power for the tasks before him—Jehovah God! He is the helper and faithful provider. Thus, note the resolve of our Lord Jesus: Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Face forward like a flint rock, hard and ready for work . . . determined and ready for success. After all, the Sovereign LORD “who vindicates” is close at hand—always.
Just as Jesus is the Ultimate Servant equipped by God to give fresh wind to the weary, so you too as his humble, broken servant are equipped and sent. So you too have been blessed with God’s provision of his Word. So you too are called to refresh souls with God’s Truth fleshed out in your own words and deeds. And so you too may be ready every single day as you choose to come before God with humility and surrender, declaring, “Here am I, Lord. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
As 2012 unfolds before us, let me urge you to go through it with resolve, diligently pursuing those whom God brings across your worn pathways. Listen to their stories. Share in their pain. Grieve for their losses. And by your words and sheer presence, shaped, as it were, by the Scriptures, remind them of the hope of heaven made possible by the Ultimate Servant, Jesus Christ. Offer them an instructed tongue that sustains the weary. And then see God make the difference.