Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9
Verse 4: “God wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.”
The section that today’s verses come from is titled “Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience.” This title contrasts the 2 choices all of us have to make: the world or God? When we choose to live by the ways of the world, this often leads to sin. When we choose to live by the ways of God, we experience life very differently, even though it is still lived in the world. I believe that the key to this choice lies in verses 4 and 5. In verses 6-9 we see the outcome or results of the commitment encouraged in the first two verses.
In verse 4 Isaiah acknowledges that he has been instructed by God and that he is sustained by the word of God. These two are available to us all. The “how” comes as we continue in verse 4: “God wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” If our cell phone or the remote control is the first thing we begin our day with, then we are connecting ourselves to the world. At that point we are already stepping on the treadmill of life before filling ourselves with what really matters. There is no better way to begin one’s day than to turn our ear and heart to God’s voice and to God’s word.
When we begin our day with God, then we are empowered to live out our faith. We, like the prophet, will not back down or hide our face. We will choose to live and speak faithfully, knowing that “the sovereign Lord helps me.” To the world and those that live by the ways of the world, we will say in confidence: “Let us face each other!” With God beside, before, behind, and within us, we can live as children of the light. May it be so for us all this day and every day.
Prayer: Lord God, day by day, as I awaken, draw me first and foremost to you. Fill me with all that you have for me so that I can live fully for you. Strengthen and encourage me when temptation comes. By the power of the Holy Spirit, remind me of the power and truth that I find in you. Amen.