Monday, March 26: Isaiah 50:4-9
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. 5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. 6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. 7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. 8 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! 9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.
These verses from Isaiah evoke many images, from good vs. evil to peace vs. turmoil.
One can envision within these verses the life of Christ. He was sent to Earth, by his Father, as the perfect Son, who listened to and obeyed his Father and instructed those around him in the way they should go. He was loved by many, and yet enemies still surrounded him. His enemies mocked him, beat him, stripped him, and spit on him, but still our Lord remained peaceful despite the adversity he faced. He did not turn away from his enemies, but looked toward his Father for guidance.
During our Lenten journey, we all struggle with these images. We want to do right by God, by reading and listening to his words and following his instructions, but when trials and adversity come our way, we struggle to do what’s right. We may question, doubt and be fearful of what has happened or what is to come; we may want to strike back with words or our hands when we’re angry or afraid, but before we act, we must remember that we have already been vindicated, by our Lord and Savior. Through the blood shed on the cross, we are all promised redemption, mercy and life everlasting.
Our vindicator is coming near; so when the Lord gently awakens us in the morning, be ready to listen and follow his instruction, for our Lord will return and nothing or no one can keep us from him! Through our Baptism we were already promised that he would be with us for eternity. Rest in his promise!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for awakening me to your promise of salvation. Let me listen and become your humble servant daily, so that I am able to share this promise with others. Amen!