“It shall not return to Me void”

Let’s start today with an Old Testament reading…

Isaiah 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Something will happen to us when we hear the Good News proclaimed.  Something within us will change when we listen to the Word and receive it into our hearts.  Notice the images the Lord uses to describe the action of His Word: rain, snow, earth, seed, bread. These are all things found in the natural world, ordinary things we may encounter on a daily basis. But since God is involved, there is also the involvement of the supernatural.  We need to keep this in mind as we meditate on the Word of God.  The Bible is no ordinary book.  It is not merely a collection of stories.  As Pope Benedict XVI described it in his book Jesus of Nazareth, the Gospel has performative qualities.  It can transform  whomever hears it proclaimed.  Hence, we see how the disciples, when confronted with two simple words, “Follow Me”, they dropped everything they were doing and began walking with Jesus. 

I hope today’s blog encourages you to “drop what you are doing” for a moment and walk with the Lord.  Listen to what He tells you…

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2 Responses to ““It shall not return to Me void””

  1. Davin Says:

    Paul, it is good to read your reflections. Thanks.

    Here are a couple loose thoughts on this passage: one on metaphor, the other on phrasing.

    The metaphor of rain or snow in comparison to the word is a great visual. I picture rain falling on everything and everyone, and I’m reminded of the Pentecost reference to Joel, where the Spirit pours out onto everyone.

    Also, this passage refers to what we think of today as the water cycle. Rain and snow comes down from the heavens and waters plants before returning to the heavens. It is interesting to think of God’s word returning to Heaven as well. Which leads to the phrasing thought.

    The phrasing in verse 11 is interesting. His word is referenced as an actor, and sounds like personification to me, the word stands apart from the speaker, but obeys it, and seems on a mission.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2

  2. seekingjesus Says:

    That’s a great observation Davin. By reading the passage in that context, the passage is another prophecy about Christ, “the Word made flesh”. Wow! I hadn’t even thought of that the first time around! Thanks again.

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