Lord, pour Your water upon my thirsty soul.
Read Isaiah 44:1–8
“But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 This is what the Lord says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, 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 out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5 Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and will take the name Israel.
The Lord, Not Idols
6 “This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams” (Isa. 44:4).
The road between my home and the town center is lined along one stretch with dozens of poplar trees. They are a beautiful sight, standing tall and erect like a guard of honor leading shoppers to their destination. They are particularly beautiful against the blue sky on a summer's day, and I often gaze at them as I sit in the traffic queue. Poplars are not only attractive to look at; their strong but light wood is ideal for the manufacture of musical instruments such as guitars and violas. In the past poplar wood was used for battle shields and even by artists. Perhaps the
most famous painting of them all, the Mona Lisa, was painted on a poplar panel.
It is to poplar trees that God’s people are likened in this passage. Though judgment will fall upon Israel, God has determined to bless them in the days ahead. He has chosen them (1) and the One who formed them calls upon them not to fear (2). The blessing he intends for their descendants will be like water on dry ground, as he pours forth his Spirit upon his people (3). This will cause them to flourish like meadow grass or well-watered poplars (4). Even Gentiles will experience this blessing and join themselves to God’s people (5). All this is certain because Israel’s King is sovereign and unique, the Redeemer, who has the future in his hand (6,7). And so, we should never fear as we bear witness to him—the only Rock on which to build a life (8).
Have I received God’s Spirit? Am I flourishing like a poplar? Am I an instrument of praise to the Lord? What masterpiece will he paint on the canvas of my life today?
In verse 8 the Lord asks, “Is there any God besides me?”—something we need to ask ourselves every day. Is your life built on Rock or shamrock?
Lord, we stand in awe at Your ability to declare what will be many years before it unfolds. Truly, there is no God but You.