“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11
Suggested Reading: Isaiah 58:9-12, John 4:1-26, John 15:5
Have you ever felt weary in a sun-scorched land? Living in Michigan, we don’t have any places that I would describe as ‘sun-scorched’. However, a few years ago, while traveling to Mexico on a mission trip we went through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico I saw (and felt) a truly sun-scorched land. For the people of Israel who were returning to their homeland after decades of exile in Babylon the outlook didn’t look so good. They were returning to a sun-scorched land that was decimated by years of war. Everything that was sacred to them, especially God’s temple, had been destroyed. I’m sure many of them were wondering if it would have been better to stay in exile.
The writer of Isaiah 58 brings an important message of hope to the remnant of Israel. In the midst of hopelessness, God promises to be their guide, satisfy their needs and strengthen them like spring that never goes dry. This image, in verse 11, of a ‘well-watered garden’ paints a picture of a people who were continually sustained by their God as well as a people producing a bounty of fruit. God’s desire was to sustain His chosen people physically and spiritually to allow them to produce spiritual fruit to serve as a beacon to the world. A beacon that pointed the people around them to a loving, heavenly Father.
The promise to Israel is also our promise. In John 4:1-26, Jesus and his disciples were traveling through the land of Samaria and met a Samaritan woman at a well. Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The amazing joy and comfort we have is that no matter what the landscape looks like around us we are tapped into a life-giving spring that will never go dry. Jesus gives us that sustaining water for our soul that guides our lives, keeps us spiritually refreshed through the trials of life, and for an eternity with Him in heaven. By being tapped into this spring of water that only Jesus can offer we can begin to grow into a bountiful garden producing much fruit (John 15:5).
Does your life resemble a dry, ‘sun-scorched’ land right now? Tap into the refreshing, life-changing spring of everlasting water that is Christ Jesus. Let your life be a beautiful, fruitful garden in the middle of the deserts of life, displaying to all the glory, power, and love of our Heavenly Father.