top of page

The Servant's Word for the Weary

Daniel Barta

Dec 5, 2023

God’s people, the nation of Israel, knew exile. Their hearts wept; they did not rejoice. Off to captivity and enslavement they went. From glory they fell, and into the pit of despair they willfully plunged.

How would God rescue such a people by His great power? How would He bring about their deliverance? How would He restore them as His glorious bride? How will He sustain a remnant through the dark days of exile?

The answer comes in

Isaiah 50:4

4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. (Isaiah 50:4 ESV)

Once again the Servant of the LORD takes center stage. By Him rescue will come, and He will bring salvation “with a word” (Is 50:4). Notice a few observations about this Word.

First, the “word” comes from the LORD.

4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, (Isaiah 50:4 ESV)‌

The LORD God teaches the Servant how to use his tongue. The message in the mouth of the Servant comes from the LORD. The Servant received a message only learned in the classroom of the Almighty. This word comes not from an earthly origin but from heaven. This is not a human word, but a divine word. The message did not come to the Servant by human study, reasoning, rationale, or wordly meditation. The message came by revelation. The LORD teaching and revealing His Word to His Servant.

Second, the “word” sustains the weary.  

4 ...that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. (Isaiah 50: 4 ESV)

The message of the prophet is to sustain those of God’s people who are weary in affliction - those who are tempted to doubt and give up in the pursuit of God. The message of the Servant is to restore and renew those whose faith is waning and who are close to giving way to the troubles they face. The role of the Servant is to lift the hearers eyes off the seen and unto the unseen. The harsh rule of foreign oppressors, the difficult conditions of foreign lands, and the heavy burdens laid on the backs of sinners by death and destruction leave men weary and spent, without hope in this world, and ready to die. But, the Servant comes equipped with a word that carries the power to heal, restore, replenish, and renew those drained, depleted, and on the brink of collapse.

Third, the “word” comes in abundance to sustain the Servant himself.

4…morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. (Isaiah 50:4)

The “word” comes “morning by morning” to teach and instruct, to strengthen and sustain. Each day, the “word” opens up the ears of the Servant. He hears. He trusts. Then He walks in obedience as one who sees rather than one who stumbles in blindness. This “word” comes not as a set of information to be downloaded one time into the mind and then forgotten. This “word” comes with energy and power to enlighten the heart and mind, to strengthen the inner parts of the man, and to bring forth faith in the hearer.

God’s Servant, Jesus, sustains the weary with the Word given to Him.

When Jesus arrived on the scene, He went into the towns and villages proclaiming a message. This message He received directly from the Father. He claimed that His message stood supreme from all other messages. The “word” he spoke came directly from the throne room of heaven. Only He could bring this message into the world because only He knew the Father, sat in the Father’s presence, and learned from the Father’s tutelage.

13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. (John 3:13 ESV)

Repeatedly the Servant claimed,

34 ...he whom God has sent utters the words of God... (John 3:13 ESV)
16 ...“My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. (John 7:16 ESV)
28 ...I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. (John 8:28 ESV)
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. (John 12:49 ESV)
24 ...the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:24 ESV)

Jesus, taught by the Father, came to speak the “word” given to Him. With precision, accuracy, and determination He faithfully delivered that message to the world. He did not add to or take away from it. Instead, He preserved it, proclaimed it, and trusted it to strengthen the weary and deliver the oppressed.

Hear the Word. Share the Word.

Are you yourself weary? Do you feel weighed down? Do you battle thoughts of giving up? Do you feel as if you stumble around in darkness? Do you wonder which course of action to take? Do you find your heart grumbling, “All is pointless, vanity, and a waste of time?”

God has spoken His Word. He first did it through the prophets of old, but now He speaks through Jesus about Jesus. Give yourself to this Word. Study the Word. Listen to the Word. Set the eyes of your heart to contemplate this Word. Seek the Word. Meditate on the Word. Put yourself under the good teaching of the Word. God graciously and regularly, “morning by morning”, supplies His Word to those who will slow down long enough to hear. You will not find freedom, strength, deliverance, light, nor wisdom in any other place.

Do you know anyone struggling? Anyone battling doubts? Anyone unsure of the goodness of God? Any mothers weary in the task of nurturing children? Any hearts heavy from the death of a family member? Anyone tired from long, faithful obedience that seems to produce no significant fruit? Anyone enslaved to sin?

Take the word to them. Share the Word. Go to your small group meetings ready to speak the Word, share the Word, highlight the Word. Give them the one gift that has power to sustain. Give them the very Word of God. If indeed you have been taught by God through Jesus, do as Jesus did. Go to your neighbor, your children, your spouse, your fellow church member and strengthen them with God’s Word.

[Christians] watch for this Word wherever they can. Because they daily hunger and thirst for righteousness, they long for the redeeming Word again and again. It can only come from the outside. In themselves they are destitute and dead. Help must come from the outside; and it has come and comes daily and anew in the Word of Jesus Christ, bringing us redemption, righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. But God put this Word into the mouth of human beings so that it may be passed on to others. When people are deeply affected by the Word, they tell it to other people. God has willed that we should seek and find God’s living Word in the testimony of other Christians, in the mouths of human beings. Therefore, Christians need other Christians who speak God’s Word to them. They need them again and again when they become uncertain and disheartened because, living by their own resources, they cannot help themselves without cheating themselves out of the truth. They need other Christians as bearers and proclaimers of the divine word of salvation.
 Bonhoeffer, D. (2015). Life Together (V. J. Barnett, Ed.; D. W. Bloesch, Trans.; Reader’s Edition, p. 6). Fortress Press.

bottom of page