Power, Purpose, Promise – Tuesday, 1st week of Lent – Isaiah 55:10-11/Matthew 6:7-15
Words are powerful. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. It is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us that changed our lives as believers in Christ Jesus.
The scripture text for today, taken from the prophet Isaiah forms part of the last chapter of the second book of Isaiah also known as Second Isaiah (chaps 40-55) or the ‘Book of Consolation.’ It is so called because it speaks with hope and encouragement of the approaching end of the Jewish exile in Babylon, in contrast to earlier prophecies which rather emphasized the punishments which Israel had merited by her infidelities. Now God sends his word to his people through the prophet. God’s word has power, God’s word has purpose, God’s word is promised and God’s word is accomplished.
God’s word has power; God does not do things in half measure. He sends the rain and the snow from heaven and he ensures that not only does it rain and water the earth but that life is brought forth by his actions. Now the sower has seed and the hungry have bread to eat.
God’s word has purpose: God does not act randomly. His actions are oriented towards a goal. He sends the rain and snow and ensures that they do not return till they have accomplished his purpose. In the book of Genesis, he sent rain for forty days and forty nights with a clear purpose to destroy the earth.
God’s word has a promise. We are told that the rain will not return till it has watered the earth and made it bring forth life. God wills that we have life and life in abundance. This means that God is not just “talk.” When He talks, His words accomplish His intended purpose. The word of the LORD has power, and it never fails in His intended purpose.
God’s word is accomplished. God’s word does not return to him empty. God’s promise is that his word will be accomplished and not just accomplished but it will succeed precisely, keeping in mind the intention of God. This success is not some game of chance or luck. God has set his mind on a task and he will bring it to fulfilment.
It is clear that God’s word brings life. If that be so then we too must be responsible for the words that come from our mouth. Our words must be life giving. In Matthew 12:36-37 Jesus says, “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”