Tuesday Reflection – February 04, 2020
Never Give Up!
As Christians we recognize the inequality of the worldly society in which we live. The disparity between the rich and poor continues to increase instead of decrease. It is in this competitive and fast paced climate that we are called to be the voice of the marginalized, to measure the effectiveness of social systems in caring for the needs of the poor and vulnerable. We do this in a bid to establish a just society where all are guaranteed care, provision and shelter. This is the ideal, it is what we work towards. In the meantime, God has pledged to care for those who are in need. Today’s Watchword from Isaiah 41: 17 says: When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them.
Out text gives assurance and hope. Assurance is found in the promise that God will provide for them when they seek water and find none. The text must be understood within the context of God showing the difference between Himself and the idols of Israel’s Babylonian captors. While their gods made of wood and stone were powerless to respond, Israel’s God was the God who would never forsake them, who would keep his promise made to them through Abraham, and who had the power to rescue and restore them. It was important for Israel to be aware of the nearness of God. He was right in their midst, having never left them. Today we too can be assured that regardless of what we endure, God will never be far away from us. This nearness of God should be a source of spiritual comfort for us as God will always be on the lookout for us. In Deuteronomy 31: 6, we receive encouragement not to be too confident in ourselves but to trust God: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you”. Jesus assured us in John 14: 18 ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you’. It is because of this assurance that I say to you today, never give up, keep trusting God.
The text also gives us hope. The thirst of the poor and needy mirrors the desolation of Israel as they live in captivity. Captivity, whether physical or spiritual, creates desolation, shattered dreams and lost hope. Even as this was experienced by Israel then, it is still experienced by those captured by sin and doubt today. We lose out when we allow sin to control us and rob us of our hope causing us to doubt God’s sincerity in keeping His promises. It is to those whose hope is in the Lord that this promise is made. When they are thirsty but cannot find water, thirsty to the point of their tongues hanging out, God will provide water for them. We must understand this as God miraculously providing what was not there. The God who promises highways through deserts, rough places made plain, and a way where there was no way, now promises water where there is none. It calls on us to exercise faith, to have hope that the God of the impossible will make possible what has been promised. What are you expecting of God today? What have you been praying for? Be assured that God is right there with you, hearing and seeing your travails. Have hope that God who has promised will be true to His word. He has never and will never fail. He heals the broken, restores the fallen and rescues the perishing. I can attest to the many times that I have been emotionally, physically, mentally dry, and my God has rescued, refreshed and restored me each time. It is based on this that I say to you, even as you go through your dry spell, even as you experience your time of need, never give up, keep hoping and praying for God will make a way for you. Amen.