Passage: Isaiah 44:1-5
Israel the LORD’s Chosen.
1"But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, 'I am the LORD’s,'
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, 'The LORD’s,'
and name himself by the name of Israel."
Journal: These passages are about a state of revival for God's people. God will rebuke His people for their pride and rebellion. Yet, God always leaves hope on the edges of the rebuke, and revival for His church perched resolutely on the horizon. It is like the cloud of rain in the never ending blue sky of draught that Elijah and his servant searched out in the distance. [1 Kings 18:41-45] In fact, God continually uses the picture of water to a parched land [or to a parched person] as a symbol for revival among His people. [v. 3 -- "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."]
Failed government programs decades ago caused land filled with natural prairie grasses to be plowed up simply to garner subsidies. Thereafter, in the 30's, draught came causing the condition known as the "dust bowl." Still today, it doesn't take long traveling in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma to see the impact of this condition. This is a picture of the condition of man, as failed attempts to plow up God for something different leaves the condition of man parched and dry. Yet, God doesn't leave His children dried and shriveled and, in His perfect timing, brings instead renewal and revival. [v. 3 -- "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."] It begins with the Holy Spirit convicting God's children of sin. It is not an easy prayer to pray; the prayer that asks God to convict. Yet, it is conviction and repentance that leads to revival, and this should be our prayer, beginning with us. It may begin with something as small as "a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea," but nothing God does is insignificant. [v. 5a -- "This one will say, 'I am the LORD’s,' . . ."]
Cross Reference: 1 Kings 18:41-45
The LORD Sends Rain.
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain."
42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees.
43 And he said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." And he went up and looked and said, "There is nothing." And he said, "Go again," seven times.
44 And at the seventh time he said, "Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea." And he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.'"
45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.