The willow tree is my all-time favorite tree. I don’t have any in my yard, but perhaps someday I will, especially after reading Isaiah 44. I’m an illustration learner, I must have visuals or soul stirring words to capture my attention and plant a seed that will stay; otherwise it just rolls off this hard head of mine and onto the ground. I need something that will penetrate my heart. God knows. And so as I’m talking with the Lord this morning I hear “Isaiah 44,” and in curiosity I followed the Lord’s leading. I’m so glad I did. It was there that I discovered perhaps why the willow tree has appealed to me over the years.
A Call to the Chosen
44:1-2 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.
Have you ever gotten a call from someone that made you feel pretty important? That’s how Israel should have felt in Isaiah 44:1. In modern day it would be as if they picked up the phone and God Himself was on the line saying, “I could have called anyone, but I chose to call you.”
We take the calling of God so lightly! He didn’t have to save us. But He did. He did not have to speak to my heart in 1996, but He did. And I am ever so grateful! What does it mean to you to be chosen by God? Take a minute just to let that soak in. That He created you to be who you are. The way you look, the desires of heart, the talents you have… everything was designed by Him. Do you criticize or disregard the vessel God placed you in? I know I do. Think of how much effort He put into you! It’s the insanity of the world to think that we could have just “happened.” No… we were splendidly, awesomely designed!
A Comfort for the Called
3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
What a peaceful image to imagine sitting by a river beneath a willow tree that has been soaking up the water and is lush and green. Especially when you’ve been out in the dessert as the children of Israel have been. Or what about us? When you’ve been in a dry place where we sometimes don’t see the working of God and nobody is excited about anything spiritual. The world is full of depressing news and frustrating people; but then you open up the word of God and feel Him pouring into you the water of life and suddenly your disposition changes, because your position changed. The world will say nobody cares, there’s no way out, the whole world is going to Hell in a handbasket, but from the word of God springs hope, life and direction. There is great comfort in that!
A Concept of the Creator
5 One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. 6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. 8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
We tend to put labels on ourselves. Sometimes it’s from a family characteristic, perhaps it’s from a past mistake or a title given to us by the world. We put far too much stock in titles given to us through our employers.
How hard is it for us to grasp the concept of the Creator? What was it that God created you for? What is your purpose and design? Why do you think God gave you the personality and passions that He did. How can those be used for His glory, and are you using them for that purpose.
Lots of questions to ponder today…
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