Thine eyes shall see thy teachers; and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying: “This is the way, walk ye in it.” – Isaiah 30:20-21
It is a most gracious favor of God for a congregation to have a pastor who preaches and teaches the Word of God in its truth and purity. God promises this as a gracious gift to His people that wait on Him, saying: “Thine eyes shall see thy teachers; and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying: ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’”
Is not this a mark of God’s gracious favor, that you, a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26), desiring to grow in grace and in the knowledge of your Savior (II Peter 3:18), may see your teacher and hear from his lips the Gospel of salvation by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, the Gospel that unmistakably shows you the way to heaven (John 14:5-6; 6:29) and keeps you in the saving faith (I Peter 1:5a)? Is it not a mark of God’s gracious favor that His Word, preached and taught faithfully by your pastor, leads you in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3b) and warns you against every deviation to the right or to the left (Proverbs 4:27; I Timothy 6:3-5), against aberrations which would imperil of your soul?
Tell me, since God is always with you through His never-failing Word proclaimed by your pastor, and leads and guides and keeps you “steadfast in His Word and faith unto [your] end,” is that not “His gracious and good will” (Luther, 3rd Petition)? Therefore thank God unceasingly that He has given you a diligent and faithful preacher of the Word (II Timothy 4:2); obey your pastor’s rule with the Word of God (Hebrews 13:17a); follow his faith [doctrine] (13:7b); and do your part towards making his work for you a “joy” by readily accepting his instruction and not a “grief” by doing the opposite; “for that is unprofitable for you” (13:17b). The Lord Jesus says to those who faithfully preach His Word: “He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me” (Luke 10:16.)
PRAYER – Grant us, dear Father in heaven, that we, Thy believing children, may at all times have among us true and faithful teachers of Thy Word, and that we may always guard against false teachers, lest, being seduced into error, we be led away from Thee. Grant that, nurtured with the sincere [pure] milk of the Word, we may abide steadfast in it and in confidence of its saving truth unto our end, and thus obtain by grace through faith the salvation of our souls for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
Thou who the night in prayer didst spend and then didst Thine apostles send and bidd’st us pray the harvest’s Lord to send forth sowers of Thy Word, hear, and Thy chosen servants bless with seven-fold gifts of holiness.
Oh, may Thy pastors faithful be, not laboring for themselves, but Thee; give grace to feed with wholesome food the sheep and lambs bought by Thy blood, to tend Thy flock, and thus to prove how dearly they the Shepherd love!
Hymn 493, 1-2