Lenten Devotion - Isaiah 50:4-9

This post is one in a series of devotionals written by Lutherans in the U.S. and LWR staff around the world reflecting on their faith, which calls them to proclaim hope for those in need. Check out the other devotionals in the series.

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Isaiah 50:4-9

"The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens-- wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.” — Isaiah 50:4 (NRSV)

We live in a world where communication has advanced, but the human quality of this communication is deteriorating. It is against that backdrop that we, as disciples of the Lord, must spread his love around us. To successfully carry out this mission, I invite you to meditate on Isaiah 50:4, which presents the secret of the Lord’s servant: “The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.”

Thus, the servant of the Lord who communicates is known for using language for consolation, encouragement, recovery and the communication of grace as affirmed by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:29: “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.”

The tongue of a teacher is a gift from God, a gift that grows through developing intimacy with him and communicating his wonders.

Intimacy with the Master is the secret of the servant of the Lord. It’s achieved through morning listening, a fundamental characteristic of the Lord’s disciple, who never begins a day without spending time at the feet of the Lord. Each morning, the disciple wants to hear the voice of the Lord, who indicates which road to follow (Psalm 32:8). This listening will develop the follower into a good disciple who is always ready to learn from the Master. It is a time of learning that gives the disciple good things to communicate to the world.

The servant of the Lord who communicates his wonders can be compared to a river where water is flowing, rather than a backwater where it is stored. This means that what the disciple has received from the Lord is shared with others and that the disciple will receive more, as the Psalmist did in Psalm 78:3­-4.

The disciple is characterized by the desire for and the practice of communicating joy, peace, tranquility, love, comfort and communicating life around us. Indeed, the Lord is always ready to teach his disciple who finds time to meet him.

How do you listen to God’s voice? What are some ways you’ve learned from God which road to follow?



Dear Lord, help me listen to you, so that, like Jesus Christ, I can be a blessing to those around me.


Noemie Nikiema served as IT Manager in Burkina Faso with Lutheran World Relief's SESAme Project, which assists more than 500,000 people directly and indirectly to increase their capacity to meet sesame export quality standards, access lucrative markets and improve buyer-seller relationships. 


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