But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what the Lord says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord ’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord ’s,’ and will take the name Israel. – Isaiah 44:1-5
I got so excited by yesterday’s post that I overlooked a couple of water verses. I guess this would be the equivalent of “skipping” part of the river which you can’t really do so I am going to retrace a small portion of Isaiah to pick up the verses I missed when I wrote about Peace Like a River yesterday.
God is talking to Jacob or Israel in this passage. He also uses the name Jeshurun. Apparently the term Jeshurun is a poetic reference to the nation of Israel which means loosely “to be blessed”. This is appropriate as in this passage God is describing the blessings he will be pouring out on the nation and people of Israel, “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”
God seems to be equating water and streams to His spirit and blessings. In a dry and desert land this makes sense. Water is life in the desert and without water nothing is possible and death comes swiftly. God is saying that spiritually He is the water that the people of Israel need. They, and their descendants, are to be truly blessed by God’s spirit. His spirit will do for their souls what water does in the desert – provide life.
God offers the same to all those who seek him with their hearts and souls. I just finished reading a chapter in A.W. Tozer’s book Pursuit of God called “The Gaze of the Soul”. It is an exploration of what faith means and how we are to understand faith in actions. One of the most amazing word pictures Tozer provides is that faith is “the gaze of a soul upon a saving God”. The God who see us allows us to see Him. This is something that the people of Israel could hardly fathom. Their view of God was in the clouds high above them. God pouring out His very soul is truly a new song for the people of Israel.
Those who plant themselves firmly in the water God is providing will find that they “spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.” Our souls were made to operate on the spirit of God. It is only through His spirit that we can leap across mountains and find water in the desert.
The last part of the passage seems to be saying that many will accept God’s invitation to be planted by the river: “Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord ’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord ’s,’ and will take the name Israel.” I am not sure what “writing on our hands” looks like but it would seem to be a direction to get a tattoo or other marking that clearly identifies us as belonging to God — maybe I should get a tattoo after all.
Prayer: God thank You for sharing Your spirit with us and allowing us to gaze upon a saving God in such an intimate way.