For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Its important to keep in mind the matter for which God sent his Word. We have to go all the way back to Genesis and consider just what happened in the Garden. After the first couple disobeyed God something horrific occurred. They were evicted from Paradise and barred from returning. Yet even more tragic than man’s appointed toil with the earth and woman’s with labor, their nature’s had been altered. Sin had entered into the human personality sending his spirit into a coma. The inner light had gone out. Beings who had openly communed with God were removed from his presence and their walks and conversations with him ceased. Broken relationship is the matter for which God sent his Word.
The inspired writer’s of the Old Testament began recording the prelude to the day when God would send his Word. It is a story of a chosen people, living by various covenants with a God who had begun to reveal himself once again. It is a story of people ham-strung in heart, incapable of responding to God with the kind of intimacy and trust originally enjoyed by Adam and Eve. God’s intentions are to restore his relationship with man and creation.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
No one knew this better than the prophets. They too had been given revelations and insights to their covenant God yet they knew their light only created shadows of what was to come. Twice Ezekiel hints of the coming remedy.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.(Ezekiel 11 & 36)
We gentiles represent the unanticipated twist in the plot. The veil remained over the chosen people’s heart while the eyes of gentiles were opened to the matter that remained on God’s heart – the spirit-to-spirit reconciliation between man and himself.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
We know that the Word lived among us for 33 years endeavoring to expose matters of the heart and reveal to the world his true nature. The Word surrendered himself to his Father’s will and became the Lamb who was slain as an atonement for our sins. He was crucified and raised from the dead and ascended, giving us the Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit became the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophetic hint. With Christ now in us, by way of the Holy Spirit, we obtained new hearts. Trusting in this narrative, Jesus Christ became our very life. We became new creatures and our capacity to commune with our Maker was restored. This was the matter for which God sent his Word.
For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:9-12)
While this promise was originally made to Israel, we gentiles have been given the opportunity to now watch over our hearts diligently by honoring the restored privilege of communion with God. It is as though we have been placed at an equisite banqueting table and have been invited to partake.
I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. (John 6:35)
Father, help us to keep in mind the matter for which you sent Your Word. Teach us to pause so that the rain and the snow will not have come down from heaven in vain. May our Word not return to You without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Teach us to take up our knives and forks so that Your Word will not return to You empty, without accomplishing that which You have desired, and without succeeding in the matter for which You sent it. Amen.