“The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I will answer them. I am the LORD, the God of Israel. I will not abandon them. I will open rivers on the barren heights, and springs in the middle of the plains. I will turn the desert into a pool and dry land into springs” (Isaiah 41.17-18).
God assures Israel of His presence. He promises them strength (41.10), victory (41.14-15), and triumph (41.16). However, this does not mean that they will live in a continually prosperous state. Yet, His people must continually trust in Him nonetheless.
We are as the poor and needy in this passage (v. 17). All people are poor and needy. Only some people recognize this. Anyone who belongs to God understands that they are poor and needy or hungry and thirsty. We seek water, but there is none. We want victory and triumph, but the conflict continues and wears us down. Corruption and sin seem ever-present. Spiritual deadness and dark valleys shroud the future. We are parched with thirst.
But God will not abandon us. He will rescue us. My sins are not to great or heinous to be forgiven. Nothing is impossible for Him. His mercy never ceases. His love and grace flow unchanging. One writer pointed out the three categories of blessing in verse 18: Innovation, multiplication, and transformation.
- Innovation – water where it doesn’t usually appear (barren heights)
- Multiplication – increase of water where there is some (springs in the middle of the plains)
- Transformation – water where it never was (desert into a pool; dry land into springs)
I am poor and needy. God is all-sufficient. I do not wait on God in vain. His promises will come to pass. I shall be abundantly satisfied with the fullness of God’s house, He shall give me water from the river of His pleasures (Psalm 36.8). He will do this in this present darkness. He shall also show me the path of life; in His presence is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore.