This verse brings together the very essence of what every Christian strives to do on a daily basis. We are to love God and in doing so, love others. We are to imitate His ways… obey His word…and resist the pull of the world, cleaving only to God…for in that is eternal life and unspeakable joy.
The Kingdom of God is within the human heart, and just like the Spring soil, the seed is planted and grows. We may not totally understand how both happen…but by faith and trust we have this assurance…that our personal relationship with Jesus will grow within us, just like the life found inside that seed.
The Children of Israel had veered far off course…they had rebelled against God and were “off doing their own thing.” Now God was calling them back…repent or face judgment…turn back to Me and be forgiven.
Hebrews Chapter 11, the great “Faith” Chapter in the Bible is a dichotomy of truths to the world. On one hand, it’s a litany of Bible greats who were known for their tremendous trust in God. But on the other hand, not one of them ever received their promise. In fact, Hebrews 11:13 says, “All were still living by faith when they died.” Do you have the wherewithal to hold tightly to your faith until the very end…clinging to the promises of God, even if you never actually see them?
In this entire chapter, Isaiah is contrasting how the Children of Israel fasted, to what true fasting was meant to be. Fasting can become very self-centered…I’m denying myself, I’m going without, I’m abstaining from…I, I, I….you get the picture. But Isaiah wanted them to know that true fasting wasn’t about them and what they were doing at all, but rather, of reaching out to others around them. And interestingly enough, another meaning for fast – firm and secure – is exactly what the message of the Good News is. And what better people to help the poor than Christians who can fill the need both physically and spiritually?
God will not stand for apostasy…spiritual adultery with pagan gods…whatever that god or idol may look like in your world. For anything that comes between you and God…that causes you to wander away from God’s instruction…that makes you think you know more than God…that’s an idol.
Elsewhere in Psalms it says, “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.” For to lose all things is to gain Christ. Our well-being …both mentally, physically, and spiritually is in the Lord and Him alone. And even when our bodies grow old and weak, He’s our strength.