Isaiah’s Wasteland…

Isaiah 43:19 has long been a favorite verse of mind, reminding me that God is at work.  Not only that, but he is at work in places where there are no signs of him.  He doesn’t just hang out in church buildings.  The “Lord’s House” is not necessarily the place where he hangs out, it seems.

“See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  ~Isaiah 43:19

Various translations give some interesting and, I think, really great variations on the theme:

  • rivers in the desert.
  • …In desolate placesfloods.
  • pathway in the wilderness, rivers in the dry wasteland.
  • a way for you to go through the desert.
  • streams of water in the dry and empty land.
  • roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.

It’s a great verse, a great motivational word-picture.  I picture a guy (or gal) with a machete chopping through dense forest or crawling through the desert in search of water or some other pioneering vision bravely “going where no one has gone before.”   Until just now I’ve never thought of this verse from within a Star Trek metaphor, but it might just work.  Hmmm…

Anyway, I don’t know that I’ve ever paid much attention to the following two verses.  I’m sure I’ve read them, but reading them again recently really struck me.

“The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”  ~Isaiah 43:20-21

So, again–God is doing new things in new places.  And who is He looking for?  Is he looking for the rare dove that’s been hiding for years in secret out in the jungle.  Is he focused on the snuggly-knows-Jesus bunny rabbit that’s been camping out in an oasis in the middle of the jungle?   No, it will be the jackals that honor God; the owls that fly in the darkness that will the ones that God is seeking after.  The “way” that is being carved out in for them.  The streams are for their nourishment.  It’s for those who are hiding, living in darkness; those that we tend to ignore or, worse, that we don’t think have any chance (or are not worthy) of knowing the grace that God has given to us.

It is for these that God is moving and working.  It is for them that he give some of his faithful workers the incredibly hard task of pioneering a path.  Those pioneers may not see much in the way of results, but they are doing an invaluable work for those that will follow.  Because these owls and the jackals are the ones that God has chosen, those he has called out to praise his name in new places, in new cities and in new communities throughout the world.

Originally posted 2015-09-19 04:56:31.

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