10 “Because just like the rain and the snow come down from the sky, and they do not return there until after they have watered the land completely and cause it to break out and sprout, and provide seed to the planter and bread to the eater, 11 that is what my word that goes out from my mouth will be like. It will not return to me without success, but will do what I want and be successful in the purpose for which I sent it. 12 Because you will exodus joyfully, and you will be escorted peacefully. The mountains and the hills will break forth in your presence, rejoicing and all the forest trees will clap the hand. 13 Instead of the thorn bush, a juniper will spring up; instead of the brier, a myrtle will spring up, and it will serve as a memorial to Yahveh, for a permanent sign, not to be removed.”
a permanent sign
God’s promise to his people that they would experience a second exodus is a non-negotiable for him. It is going to happen. Just like the rain which God sends from the sky, and it makes the land fruitful, so God’s message of restoration and spiritual revival for Israel is a given. The fruit of that revival will serve as a permanent sign, a memorial to Yahveh, a proof of his love and his covenant loyalty.
Some people take these words from God out of their context and use them to teach that the words of the Bible have a magic quality. They teach that you can take a promise from the Bible, apply it to yourself, and if you do not waver in believing it, it will give you what you want. That was not at all what Isaiah was referring to. The success of God’s message from Isaiah was grounded in the fact that God had a plan to restore Israel. It was that message that would not return to God without succeeding.
But there is a message for the believer in Christ here as well. God has a purpose for our lives. It is wrapped up in his plan to reach the nations with the gospel. When we dare to trust that the gospel we proclaim will turn the nations to Christ, we can be assured that that word will not return to God without succeeding in what he wants to accomplish.
LORD, make us people who dare to proclaim your gospel, trusting in you to make it produce what you want.