Isaiah 55:10-11 - (The Lord said) "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
"Well, that was a waste of time," I thought as I finished reading a really obscure chapter of Isaiah to my family—and then I felt guilty for thinking such a thing. But really—we were dealing with verses like "Therefore let Moab wail for Moab, let everyone wail. Mourn, utterly stricken, for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth" (Isaiah 16:7). Just try explaining that one to your child!
I suspect a lot of people feel the same way about Bible reading, whether it happens at home or in church. There are passages we don't understand—often because we haven't read the rest of the book, and so we don't know what's really going on. But it takes time and patience to get familiar with the Bible, and too often we don't want to put that time in. We want instant results, and we get frustrated with anything less. And then we feel guilty, and want to read and listen even less. It's a vicious circle.
God calls us away from this mental mess and gives us a different picture of how His Word works: it's like rain and snow, that waters the earth, and ultimately produces the very bread we eat.
It takes a lot of rain and snow to produce a harvest. And along the way, it often doesn't look like it's doing much. Your exposure to God's Word may feel the same—you keep hearing it, you read it, but what impact is it having on your life? You can't see it. Until later—when you really need it, and the Holy Spirit brings it to your memory.
God gives us a promise we can rely on: "My Word ... shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." God will use His Word to shape our lives. After all, He already has! It was through His Word that you were baptized, and it was through His Word that you came to know and trust in Jesus, your Savior, who suffered, died, and rose from the dead for you. Trust God to use His Word in your life in the future.
THE PRAYER: Father, thank You for the gift of Your Word. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What is your favorite part of the Bible?
2. What is your least favorite, and why?
3. Tell about a time when God used His Word to help, strengthen, comfort, or guide you.