A new thing - by Ben Bonython
“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed....Isaiah 43:18-20 (NLT)
The Prophet Isaiah spoke the Word of God to the nations, and the Word of God continues to speak to the nations today. The Word is eternal and ageless.
Isaiah 43 proclaims the Lord as the only saviour of the world. In verse 1 of Isaiah 43, the Lord reminds us that He has created and formed us, that He ransomed us and that we are called by Him - we are His!
A similar passage is found in Psalm 100:
Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Ps 100:3
From Isaiah 43:1-17, the Word of God reminds us of the past and what the Lord has done for us. The entire chapter is from the Lord's perspective and what He has done for us. It is a reminder that we need to know God's perspective on the world, and allow His perspective to shape our own.
But with the words - 'forget all that', Isaiah 43 takes a remarkable turn in verse 18 stating that the past is nothing compared to what the Lord is going to do. After all the amazing things of the past, verse 18 begins an incredible declaration that causes hope and expectancy to arise once more.
The Lord doesn't just remind us of what He has already done for us, but He calls us to see what He is doing, here and now! What seemed impossible or unlikely becomes possible with the Lord. 'Streams of water in a dry lifeless desert'. This is the picture God gives us - the impossible made possible, dry places made alive. Another image is wild animals being thankful - a wild animal is anything but thankful and by definition self reliant...but the hopeless things are made hopeful, people laying down their will and being dependent on the Lord! This is a powerful Word for us today - for your hopes that may seem 'dry' or even impossible!
Do you desire to be refreshed? Do you desire to experience a new thing? Because look with eyes of faith - the Lord has already begun a new thing! So let renewed hope and expectant prayer arise in you. And take a moment to read Isaiah 43, reflect in prayer, and be encouraged in the Lord.