The sovereign Lord has given me a teacher’s tongue, to know the Word that sustains the weary. Morning by morning he awakens me and chisels out the stone from my ears, so that I may listen like one being taught.
– Isaiah 50:4
I had never seen this verse in Isaiah until I heard it read on the first day of our trip to Asia Minor. After arriving in Turkey, we went immediately to our first location and received some background information on the apostles that came here and the stories in the New Testament that took place in this fascinating land. Jesus’ disciples took his command to go to the ends of the earth and make disciples literally and came here to live among the most pagan culture in the world, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Names such as Ephesus (Ephesians), Colossae (Colossians) Galatia (Galatians), and the seven churches in Revelation (Smryna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, (along with Ephesus) were all located here. We were told several stories of how they were persecuted and gave up their lives, as well as their families lives, for the spread of the gospel. Our guide read this verse from Isaiah and challenged us with the question, “Why are you here on this earth? Why does God still have you here? What is your purpose?” Here is at least part of the answer.
If we are one of Jesus’ disciples, we have been given the heart and voice of a teacher to proclaim God’s Word to the weary. We know what they need! He has chosen our voice to use as His instrument to make Him known. He has already given us the ability to teach and to help someone who is hurting. He will show you what to say and do in every situation if…you let Him awaken you every morning and let Him speak to you and teach you what He wants you to know from His Word.
The most accurate translation of the last part of the verse is that He is “chiseling the stone out of my ears, so that I can listen like one being taught”. He is shaping and chiseling us as we read and learn from the Text. Our ears are filled full each day from the pagan world that we live in. We need to have God chiseling the bad things out of our thinking and replacing it with His very words to us. Whatever you read each morning, you will need somewhere along the line. It might not be used that day, but God is showing it to you because one of these days you will need it. What if we don’t let Him chisel? What if we don’t read? “He who has an ear, let him hear”. In Hebrew, that phrase means, “Do It!”, or as we like to say here in the Southwest, “Get er done!” How could we do any less, considering what He has done for us?