The Lord’s Renown

DSCN3437“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.   As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,   so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.   You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.   Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord ’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” – Isaiah 55:9-13

Happy Thanksgiving!  I have taken an extended break from my “walk on water” to shuttle family, prepare holiday meals, and spend time with family and friends.  I am recovering from the thanksgiving meal today and trying to avoid the pile of grading that awaits me, but it is time to put the boat back in the water and float on down the river.

In this verse God is reminding the people of Israel, and all those who are reading this passage, that He is in a different league in terms of His actions and thoughts.  We are fundamentally different and unable to act or think on the same level as God.  We may at times get a glimpse of the undiscovered country where He dwells, but it is fleeting and brief.

The metaphor that God uses reflects this dual nature to God’s interactions with us, they are both mysterious and mundane at the same time:  “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”.

God is comparing His “word” to rain.  The meaning of “word” is generally interpreted to be the voice or word of God, or perhaps the Breath God used to “breath” things into existence.  The latter has interesting implications for this passage.  Rain in a sense “breaths” life into things on the earth as it is used to grow leaves and sustain our bodies.  God’s rain will fall and accomplish what God desires here on earth, i.e. it will not “return to Him empty”.

This would seem to suggest that although we have some choice whether we heed God’s rain, in the end God wins.  There are not many of us that would desire either constant rain or a total lack of rain.  Most of us prefer rain to come often enough to keep things green, provide us with water to drink, make plants to grow, and allow rivers to run.  I suspect we prefer the rain to come on our schedule and our terms, but God is asking us to revel in the rain regardless of whether we see God’s clear purpose or not, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands”.

Prayer: God help us to revel in the rains that you send and proceed with confidence that You are providing the rains we need to grow and thrive.

This entry was posted in Faith, Following God, Isaiah, Nature, The Earthly Realm, The Nature of God and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Lord’s Renown

  1. Pingback: Come to the waters…You who have no money | Walking on Water

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