This is one of the four Servant Songs found in Isaiah. The general understanding is that the servant represents Israel as they are suffering and oppressed while in exile. The gospel writers often reinterpret the prophet’s words as pointing to Jesus as the fulfilment of these prophesies. One can almost hear Jesus giving this explanation of his role as teacher, of his response to the violence he endured, and of his trust in God’s deliverance. Something that strikes me is that the servant values both speaking and listening. He uses his words to sustain the weary and listens carefully as if there is much to learn.
In reflecting on the past day or two, for what purpose did you use your words? When have you used your words to sustain someone who was weary? When has someone used their words to do the same for you? Are you better at speaking or at listening? Are there practices that might help you to find a better balance between the two?
In prayer, offer these words, “Speak, O Lord, for your servant is listening,” and then spend a few minutes in silence. Let your mind wander. Pay attention to the thoughts that come and examine each one, considering whether it is a distraction or whether it may be a word from God.