“THE TONGUE OF THE LEARNED”                    By Pastor YAU

Text: Isaiah 50:4-5                                                     October 7, 2007.

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   A soul searching question: Francis Collins earned a Ph. D. in physical chemistry from Yale University and then entered medical school. During his training at a North Carolina hospital, a dying woman often talked to him about her faith in Jesus Christ. He told her he rejected the existence of God but he could not ignore the woman’s serenity. One day she asked the young doctor, “What do you really believe?” Caught off guard, Collins’ face turned red as he stammered, I am not really sure.” A few days later the woman died.

2)   A belated but good answer: Curious and uneasy, the young doctor realized that he had rejected God without adequately examining the evidence. He began to read the Bible and the writings of C. S. Lewis. A year later he fell to his knees and gave his life to Jesus Christ. The catalyst? A sincere question from a woman whose body was failing but whose heart for the doctor was strong.

 

WHAT IS A LEARNED TONGUE?

1)    A prophetic picture: Prophet Isaiah foretold the coming and the ministry of the Messiah in this chapter 50. This was written during the time of the captivity. The nation of Israel was destroyed and the people were either captured by enemies to foreign countries or self exiled among other nations. The stress and hopelessness was real in everyday life. The pride of the nation was dampened and the hope of restoration of the nation was as far away as the end of a dark tunnel. God sent Isaiah to tell His people that He will send a Savior to deliver them from the oppression and cruelty of the captors. The Savior or the Messiah will speak words that will sustain or give strength to those who are weary.

2)    A present day meaning: Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent His disciples to spread the good news of salvation to a lost world. He promised His presence with them as they go and make disciples of all nations. (Matt. 28:20)As Christians go and share the gospel of the Savior, they will in fact speak words of comfort and hope to all who are weary and heavily laden. (Matt.11:28) The prophetic message in the Old Testament was fulfilled when Jesus came and announced the “Kingdom is at hand.” The message will continue to be announced through the Church and all Christians as we carry the gospel to the utter most parts of the world.

3)    A tongue of the Lord: “The Sovereign Lord has given me a learned tongue.” (50:4)The tongue or words was given by the Sovereign Lord. This is a very important principle when we try to speak for the Lord: words we speak must be from the Lord. The Apostle John warned us not to add or subtract anything from the Word of God, the Bible. (Rev. 22:18)The power of our word comes from the word of the Lord. We must be faithful to His word every time we speak of His message. Heresies are results of people adding or subtracting the word of the Bible. We are only instruments of His message. No human wisdom or knowledge may add anything to the truth God has given us for the lost world.

4)    A tongue that is learned: Anyone who wants to learn must have someone who wants to teach. A learned tongue must be taught and is willing to receive teaching. As Jesus spent so much time alone with His Father to receive teaching, we also must spend enough time with the Lord to receive His teaching. We also must have a listening ear and a humble heart to learn and to retain the teaching. It is very important that we take time to learn from the Lord and from those who are spiritual more mature than us. Having a daily time with the Lord is a great way to learn from Him. Regularly attending worship services, Bible study classes and discipleship sessions to enrich our spiritual understanding of His Word are good ways to have a learned tongue.

 

THE USE OF THE LEARNED TONGUE:

1)     To attain wisdom and discipline: “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs. 1:1-2)Many books were written by men for learning information, skills and knowledge. But only the Bible teaches wisdom and discipline. A learned tongue may teach people wisdom of knowing God, His plans of salvation and the discipline of personal life. Wisdom as portrayed in the Book of Proverbs is spiritual guidance of God in man’s life. Those who have been taught by God’s word may teach others to find wisdom and discipline. I particularly like to see wisdom and discipline go hand in hand. Wisdom is always the key to self control and discipline.

2)     To sustain the weary: “To know the word that sustains the weary.” This may not the first priority on the use of a learned tongue for some but is the goal of it as mentioned in the Bible. “Weary” here is not about physical exhaustion but is about spiritual dryness or barren. Even with all the abundance of material possessions, people are as dry as bones and are hopeless and helpless in their spiritual condition. Many of the philosophies of man are making people more confused. Material possessions are burying people under their weights and emptiness. They need to hear the truth of God. They need to know the direction of life.

3)     To save the lost: People without the redemption of Jesus Christ are lost and without hope. They are lost in this world without the correct direction and are also lost in eternity without forgiveness of their sins. A learned tongue is needed to tell these people about the love of God, the hope they may have and the eternal life they will receive if they place their fait in the Christ the Lord. The purpose that we learn so much about God and His word is to share with the lost and give them direction and hope. Unless we take this responsibility seriously, millions of souls will not be saved to be in heaven. Unless we use our learned tongues to spread the good news, no one may believe and be saved. (Rom. 10:15)

4)     To lead people toward God: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One understanding.” (Proverbs. 9:10) A learned tongue may show people the direction toward God, pointing them to worship the only one and true God. Among all the things we may talk to people, a learned tongue of the truth of God is always useful to point others to the only true God. It takes more than just a learned tongue it takes a learned life, a life of experiencing God which has tasted the goodness of God. Our knowledge in the Lord and the experience we have in Him makes it possible to lead others toward God. This is what the Lord said: “We are His witnesses.”

 

WAYS TO ACQUIRE A LEARNED TONGUE:

1)    Willing to submit to the Lord: “The Sovereign Lord has given me a learned tongue.” (50:4)Before anyone may learn anything, he must be willing to submit himself to the teacher. In this case the teacher is the Sovereign Lord, the Lord of all power, wisdom and knowledge. Being humble and submissive is the beginning of learning. Pride and self sufficiency hinders learning.

2)    Willing to spend time: “He wakens me morning by morning.” All learning takes time to accomplish. No one may learn anything well enough if he doesn’t spend time in it. Solomon spent his morning hours day after day learning from the sovereign Lord. Although different people may have different time for learning from God---spending time with God. But the best time to meet God is in the morning as King Solomon did. Morning time is not just fresh of the day it also represents sense of priority and importance.

3)    Willing to open your ears: “He wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The sovereign Lord has opened my ears.” (4-5)We all have ears but not all ears are open to listen and learn. If we fear God, respect Him and take Him as priority we will be ready to open our ears to hear and learn what he has to say. The willing attitude on the inside will prompt the attentive ears on the outside to listen and learn.

4)    Willing to obey and move on: “And I have not been rebellious and I have not drawn back.” (5)Willing to learn is one thing but willing to obey and not turn back is another. King Solomon told us as he learned from the Sovereign Lord he steadfastly followed what he had learned without rebellion or draw back. Many people love to learn but not all who learned will put what they have learned into practice and keep going without turning back.

CONCLUSION:

1)   Is yours a learned tongue? King Solomon is very good in teaching us about tongues. In his Book of Proverbs, he has so much to talk about how to use our tongues. Prophet Isaiah talks about a learned tongue taught by the Sovereign Lord. Has your tongue learned from this Sovereign Lord? Have you learned how to open your ears so you will learn from the Lord and His word?

2)   Are you willing to learn? God will teach all who are willing to learn. He will waken your ears and teach you important truth on life. Have you set a time to learn from the Lord so He can teach you? It is not how much you know about this world matters but how much you know about the Lord. How do you use your tongue? Do you use your tongue to sustain others or to bring them down?

3)   You must learn this: And that is about Jesus Christ and He died on the cross to forgive you of your sins. You must learn how to believe in Him and ask Him to forgive you sins so you can have eternal life. Nothing you may learn worth anything once your life on earth is over. But everything about Jesus matters at the end of your life here. Find time to learn about Him and invite Him into your heart so you will have a new life after this old one is done.