Summary: When God gives you a promise, there is often a time of necesary preparation. During this time God prepares and equips you before He brings His promise to fruition. The greater the promise, in this case outpouring, the greater the prep time.
ISAIAH 41: 17-20
WHERE VISIONS BECOME REALITY
God’s desire is to supply His people with every necessity. Even when it seems impossible. Even if our personal situation is parched as a barren desert, it will be supplied with water. As Isaiah 35:7 says, “The parched ground shall become a pool.” Isaiah uses such graphic terms to paint a picture of what God’s workmanship will mean in the lives of His repentant obedient people. It will mean more that physical provision. It means spiritual refreshing, growth and fruitfulness. When God causes the impossible with His creative power, it will be clear that He blesses His people. Then those who truly behold these wondrous events will understand and learn the lesson that He alone is the God who is active and able. He is a God who delivers His people.
I. GOD’S REQUIREMENT, 17.
II. GOD’S RESPONSE, 18-19.
III. GOD’S REASON, 20.
Our FIRST thought is God’s requirement is Man’s readiness. As verse 17 says, “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none; And their tongue is parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them Myself. As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.
The afflicted and needy denote powerlessness. This powerlessness may be experienced in their inescapable enduring of some hardship which for some may be severe. There condition or circumstance spurs them to look for answers and to call upon God. God uses such conditions or circumstances to cause us to flee to the Him with our whole heart.
Thirst is used here because it is a powerful image of every deep human need - physical, spiritual, and emotional. The use of the participle seeking expresses continued activity, perhaps reflective of our perpetual neediness or the severity of our need. It may also express the thought that at any time the needy, those who thirst, are driven to seek, God promises the seeking that He will answer. He will relieve us, when we are brought to this thirsting condition. God will respond to our cries personally (I, the Lord, I will answer them).
Perhaps the greatest curse of well-being, whether physical, material, emotional, or spiritual, is that it lures us into believing we are self-sufficient. That is, of course, a lie with eternal consequences. We are dependent beings, most of all in spiritual matters. This was what Paul learned, beginning on the road to Damascus (Phil. 3:7-11). It is when our neediness, in whatever realm, has taught us that the Sovereign Lord, on whom we depend absolutely, longs to bless those who bring their needs to Him, that we have learned the greatest lesson of life. (Oswalt, Isaiah, p )
God does not forsake His people who are driven to seek Him. Their lack, their reaping what they sow is only His way of getting their attention. We, His people, are not to lose heart on account of our unfulfilled condition or desperate circumstances as we will see more fully in our second point.
II. GOD’S RESPONSE, 18-19.
God is willing to be actively involved with His seeking people. Those who look to Him in repentant submission will find verse 18 true for them. “I will open rivers on the bare heights, And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land fountains of water.
God promises to supply the needs of those who cry out to Him, and to do so in a superabundant manner even should He need to act supernaturally to do so. The language is clearly figurative. There is no indication that the prophet expected these things to come true in a literal sense. As he has done in so many other places in the book, he uses the language of natural impossibility to make the point of God’s limitless ability (Isa. 30:25; 32:14-20; 44:3-5).
When no means of relief are seen, we quickly fall into despair, seeing no ready reason to entertain any hope. Even when we perceive no ways or methods of deliverance, and everything appears to be utterly desperate, trust the Lord. He has ways and methods of supply we know nothing of, for His solutions are not limited current situations or circumstances, no matter how unlikely our human experience may conceive they are. The Lord has abundant channels of displaying His life-giving power and provision that we cannot humanly perceive.
The Lord has sufficient power, and is not confined to the order of nature, which He can easily change, whenever He thinks fit. For He says that he will make life-giving waters to flow on the tops of mountains, and fountains in valleys, and pools in deserts.
Listen to this poem and take hope that He is working in your difficult needy circumstances.