>Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed (Isaiah 55:13 NIV)
Earlier in the chapter, Isaiah points out the promise of redemption. For a time Israel must endure God’s chastisement because of her disobedience. But God remembers His covenant with her, and He will renew her to her former glory. He promises prosperity, not in gold or wealth, but in spiritual richness. Just as the rain and snow descend on the earth, watering and nurturing the soil before it evaporates back to the air, God has planned that His Spirit will germinate and replenish our souls. The soil cannot demand the rain to fall. God designs the weather. The soil cannot brag for the flowers that grow. It is God’s faithfulness that brings about the bloom. Likewise, the believer cannot reap fulfillment by the deeds and work of his hands. Joy comes solely from intimacy with God. Christians delude themselves into believing they are called to a special task. Their joy is cheapened by their pride. While God does ask us to do certain things, our value to God is not in the doing but the being. Oswald Chambers writes, “God calls to no special task: He calls to Himself.” Our task is to pray; He will engineer the rest.