A Well-Instructed Tongue
“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.” (Isaiah 50:4 NIV)
The prophetic passage in the Old Testament book of Isaiah speaks about the Messiah who was to come: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who would “know the word that sustains the weary.” But, as believers, we’re called to be imitators of Christ; and, as such God wants us to have a well-instructed tongue as well. He wants us to have an instructed word to sustain those who have been beaten down by life— through rejection, fear, disappointment and disillusionment.
What is this instructed word that we’re to speak to the weary? We know that God’s Word is powerful in and of itself. The Bible says that it is "quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12). But what word from Scripture in particular are we to speak to the downtrodden, and what is the right timing for that word, and to whom should we deliver it? We need to have an instructed word that would go beyond just saying any verse that comes to mind at the moment; we need to have a word that would be Spirit-led and Spirit-permeated, so that it will pierce the heart of the hearer.
How do we get this “instructed tongue”? Isaiah says, “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” What a challenge this is for us today, with our overbooked schedules and the cacophony of voices on TV and via texting and social media. It means listening with our hearts, rather than just reading a quick verse from the Bible so that we can be out the door in the morning. It may be that God will awaken our ears and give us a word from Scripture that we will hold on to, so that at the right moment in our day, we can give that word to someone who needs to hear it.
This makes life exciting, doesn’t it? The God of the universe— more than that, our heavenly Father— wants to speak to us and use us to hold up the weary and let them know the word of the Lord and give them strength to go on. While on earth, Jesus spent time with his Father every day; and he said, “… I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me” (John 8:28). How amazing it is to think that God gives us the opportunity to do the same.
Having an instructed word from God is not only for those who go to Bible school; or for pastors; or Bible teachers. It is for every Christian who spends time with God and whose ear is awakened to “listen like one being instructed.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re a choir member or Sunday school teacher or just a mom or dad bringing up your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord; God can give you an apt word for yourself and for someone else who will need to hear that word.
Are we willing to listen for that instructed word today?
Read Isaiah 50:4-10.