TESTIFY about GOD’s LOVE through KIND WORDS & ACTION
August 1 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 49-51
"The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away." (Isaiah 50:4-5)
The above passage introduces the third servant song as the prophet Isaiah gives a prophecy of hope regarding the coming Messiah to the people of Israel who were struggling. These words were of dual comfort - both to the people of Israel living in exile, and to the future generations whose lives would be touched by the compassion of Jesus. A closer reading of this entire song clearly indicates that this prophecy is about Jesus Christ who displayed the perfect obedience of God’s righteous Servant (see Matt. 26:39).
One of the gifts that God gave His Servant (Jesus) was the tongue of the learned, which was the ability to deliver effectively the message that He was given by God. After Jesus had expounded the passage of Isaiah 61:1-2 (that spoke about Himself) in the synagogue of his home town Nazareth, the reaction of the people who heard Him was described in this manner: "So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth" (Luke 4:22). In another gospel the following was written: “And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?’” (Matt. 13:54) Even the Roman officers who were sent to arrest Jesus went back empty-handed, and testified about Jesus the following: "No man ever spoke like this Man!" (John 7:46)
Actually, our Jesus had learned obedience and had educated His tongue through suffering while He was on this earth: "who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb. 5:7-8). So, not only did Jesus speak effectively and eloquently, but He spoke words that were apt to the occasion, timely and were refreshing to those weary people who heard Him. "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Prov. 25:11), and "a word spoken in due season, how good it is!" (Prov. 15:23)
Jesus knew how to speak a ‘word in season’ through His practical learning from His heavenly Father daily. Every morning His ear was opened to receive instructions from His Father for that day: "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He (Jesus) went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed" (Mark 1:35). Just like a master wakes up his disciples early in the morning to give instructions and sends them to their assigned tasks, God had sent His "servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them" (Jer. 7:25) to the children of Israel time and again.
In the similar manner, Jesus heard from His heavenly Father daily in the early morning, and would only speak the words given by His Father. These are His words: "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak" (John 12:49-50). Jesus was more than willing to do His Father's will in proclaiming and procuring salvation for us all, even at the cost of His own sufferings. Jesus displayed Himself as a perfect example for us to emulate with His open ear (Isa. 50:4–5), His set face (Isa. 50:7; Luke 9:51), His ready tongue (Ps. 45:1), and His body surrendered to suffering (Isa. 50:6). Let us follow His example as we seek to serve Him faithfully in our everyday life!
Today, let us testify about God’s love through our kind words and action as we will be known by what we say and do (see John 13:35). A word of comfort can go a long way, and compassion is needed to heal the hurts of others. To speak such words, it is essential for us to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him (see Matt. 11:28-30). Through a daily thoughtful and prayerful Bible reading, reflection and quiet meditation, we can also hear what God will speak to our hearts. We can then share with others who need to hear God’s Word. Let our words be a source of comfort to people who are hurting around us!