The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11
Living in New Zealand, we don't know what it's like to live in a sun scorched land. We live in a land of moderate summer temperatures, with above average rainfall. This is also a peaceful land without war and conflict. But there are certainly places in this world that live under the scorching sun with drought, famine, war and death as an everyday experience. This scripture, I am told by bible commentaries, was written at a time in Israel's history when the Jews were returning from exile to their desecrated land that had long experienced a time of war, drought, famine and death. It’s into this context that the prophet Isaiah writes, trying to bring hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.
During this time of hopelessness, God promises them that He will be their guide; that He will satisfy their needs and strengthen them like a spring that never goes dry. This image of a well-watered garden (verse 11) paints the picture of a people who are continually sustained by their God, and a people who are fruitful and productive. God’s desire is to sustain His chosen people, both physically and spiritually, as a testimony of hope to the world. A testimony that points people to our loving, faithful and sustaining heavenly Father. The same is promised to each one of us His children! He is our guide; He will satisfy our needs and strengthen us as we trust in Him.
In John 4:1-26, we read the account of Jesus and his disciples travelling through the land of Samaria, where they meet a Samaritan woman at a well. Jesus starts a conversation with her and says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” It doesn’t matter how dry, sun scorched or desolate things are, Jesus promises that if His people trust in Him, they will be fruitful and productive. They will experience life, and life more abundantly! He will guide them, meet their needs and strengthen them. Folk, no matter what the situation, no matter how sun scorched, dry, dusty, hard, difficult and life threatening it currently is, as you and I tap into the fresh life-giving water that Jesus provides for us, the promise is that it will not dry up or run out. There is no famine or drought in God’s kingdom! This living water never runs dry. It’s available to you and me 24/7 and it will refresh, revitalise, renew, replenish and produce a fruitful harvest – if we don’t give up! Dig deep. Tap into this never-ending source of abundant life, energy and strength available to you. Drink deeply. Drink lavishly. Drink up and grow into a beautiful garden producing much fruit. Doesn’t that remind you of that beautiful picture in John 15 of a fruitful, flourishing and flowering garden being tended by an attentive Gardener? That’s the desire of our Heavenly Gardener, to have each of us full of His life; flourishing, growing and being fruitful!
If your life resembles a dry, sun-scorched land right now. Take heart. Tap into the refreshing, life giving and life changing water that is available to you in Jesus. Right now, right where you are – why not just call upon Him and ask Him to richly and lavishly pour out His living water upon you and watch the great transformation happen. That’s all you need to do – ask. He does the rest. Your life will become a beautiful, fruitful, flourishing display in a difficult dry world. What an awesome testimony to the glory and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.