The Hearing Ear and the Helpful Tongue
Isaiah 50:4
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…

The whole passage (vers. 4-9) is strikingly appropriate to the spirit and the work of the Messiah; and this verse as much as the rest. For it was true in no small measure:

1. That Jesus received continual communications from the Divine Father. "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John 5:19; see also John 3:11; John 5:30; John 8:28, 40).

2. That he spoke many words of cheer and succour (Matthew 11:28; John 14:1-4, 16-18, 27, etc.). Many and manifold were "the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth." But we will take the text as applicable to the faithful servant of Christ now - more particularly to him who is the minister of Christ. And thus regarded, we infer -

I. THAT WE SHOULD HAVE AN OPEN EAR TO WELCOME ALL THE TRUTH GOD HAS TO TEACH US. Between the man who knows enough to find admission into the kingdom of Christ and the man who has been best instructed in that kingdom, there is a very great difference, a very large distance. We stand somewhere along this line. But where? Near the starting-point or near the goal? It is a question of grave consequence. Not only because it is most desirable for our own sake that we should reach the highest attainable point of heavenly wisdom; but also, and principally, because the extent of our knowledge of God and of his truth is the measure of our power to influence and bless our fellow-men. A man who is learning daily of God is a man who is daily gaining power to teach and help his brethren. Therefore have the ear to hear, the mind to understand, the spirit of reverent, earnest docility. Learn of the written Word, of the human ministry, of Divine providence, of the discipline of life. Morning by morning be receptive of the truth which the Father is desirous of teaching; let no day pass on which something more of holy wisdom is not treasured in the mind, is not hidden in the heart.

II. THAT WE SHOULD STUDY TO BE HELPFUL IN OUR SPEECH. Some men speak as often to wound as they do to heal, to disturb and distress as to comfort and to cheer. Immeasurable is the opportunity we possess in the way of rendering help by simple but kindly speech. Not by a few elaborate endeavours, but by a multitude of friendly utterances, unchronicled and unconsidered, do we benefit and even bless our kind. To comfort the sad, to cheer the weary on their hard way, to guide the perplexed, to help the wavering to a wise decision, to strengthen those who are ready to faint in some field of holy usefulness, to whisper Christian hope in dying ears, - this may satisfy the ambition of the good and wise. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

WEB: The Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with words him who is weary: he wakens morning by morning, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

The Gift of Consolation
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