from Lynda Lindsey
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour My Sprit upon your offspring, and My blessings on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. Isaiah 44:3-4
Regarding idolators and the makers of idols: He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” Isaiah 44:20
Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel, for you are My servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to Me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:21-22
Idolators and the makers of idols feed on ashes and emptiness; with deluded hearts and minds, they spurn God by exchanging truth for lies and obedience for disobedience. God’s people, determined to pursue wickedness, repeatedly refused God’s invitation to repent until God allowed His people to go their own way. Assyria led Israel into captivity, Babylon would come for Judah, and everyone would learn the folly of delighting in things that do not profit. And still, God graciously promised hope; all was not lost, for He would do something new!
Willow trees thrive with an accessible, consistent source of moisture to feed and nourish their fast-growing, wide-spreading root system. In the same manner God pours out His Holy Spirit, nurturing and refreshing His people with His life giving water. God’s Spirit steadily supplies everything we need for life and spiritual health, allowing us to develop strength and depth in our Christian walk. The Spirit leads and teaches us; we meditate on the Lord and learn to delight in Him and in His ways. Instead of taking foolish delight in worthless things, we become fruit bearers for God’s kingdom!
Sing, shout God’s praises; return to the Mighty One of Israel, our Savior and Redeemer! God redeems us from the pit, crowns us with lovingkindness and compassion, brings us out of destruction, out of the miry clay, and sets our feet on the firm, solid rock of Jesus! Redeemed, forgiven, set free, sins blotted out like a thick, misty cloud. Instead of feeding on ashes and emptiness, come to the Lord’s banquet table and feast on rich food and well-aged wine. He invites all who hunger and thirst to come. Poor and crippled? Lame and blind? Come to the celebration! Sing and shout for joy!