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.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backwards.
I gave my back to those who struck me.
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
This passage from Isaiah is part of Servant Song 3. You may remember we have looked at these Servant Songs before. In the Sundays before Advent one of the readings from the Hebrew Scriptures is about the character of the coming Messiah. The overwhelming feeling from this passage is of the close relationship between the Messiah and God. It harks back to the good relationship between a Hebrew slave and their master. After their initial period of six years a Hebrew slave could choose to leave them freely along with any family they had, or, they could choose to serve their master for life. If they chose the latter then as a token of this they would have their ear pierced in front of witnesses.
Isaiah says the Messiah will be a teacher and the 'Lord' would communicate with him every morning. Jesus was to have a close relationship with his Heavenly Father and spend time frequently in prayerful conversation with Him. He was also to submit freely to God's plan to rescue His people, even though this would mean subjecting himself to torture and eventual death.
As Christians we too should seek to have a close relationship with our master and king, that is with God, so that we choose to remain with Him throughout our life no matter what the future may bring.
Loving Lord God,
may we choose to grow ever closer to You,
turning to You early in the morning
and closing the day with You.
May we choose to go where You guide,
and follow where You lead,
knowing that Your ways are best.
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