“The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. 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. 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. 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.” (Reference: Isaiah 50:4-7)
A close relative of mine sent me an email asking for my advice and counsel on an issue. And I was not sure what to say, and if I had anything to say. But I sat down and read closely his description of the situation. I asked back with some questions that his description brought to mind. Then I did a little research of my own, which lead me to ask more questions and do more research and thinking. Finally, after considering several issues and factors, I concluded my response and sent it off to him.
Five years ago, when I wrote on this passage, I talked about how the book of Isaiah was sustaining to me. I remember writing that, but moreover I remember that time very clearly. I remember sitting at the kitchen table each evening reading over scripture and writing about my thoughts on scripture and how it connected to what was going on in my life. It was a dark time.
But out of the that dark time came light, and the inner strength and wisdom to find my way through other dark times. And, to tell others how to connect to God so that they might find their way. During the dark time I focused more on the beating on the back, the beard pulled out, and the mocking and spitting. Well, . . . I said they were dark times. But now, beloved (and mom) there may be darkness in the days but I am constantly in the light of God. I am wakened by the Lord’s teachings and keep my ears open to the Lord’s guidance (even though my human hearing is lousy!). And I can say without reservations that the Lord has given me an instructed tongue that I share with others out of the gratitude I feel to the Lord.
May you beloved be instructed, and may your dark days give way to the Light of God. Selah!