Meditation 1a: Reaping Fruit from God’s Word

Isaiah 55:6-12 (NIV translation)

Seeking and knowing God
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Some questions for reflection

  1. Why does God tell us that we must seek him now and not wait (verse 6)? Why would God tell us to forsake particular thoughts and ways that might be opposed to his thoughts and ways (verse 7)? Are there any particular thought patterns, negative attitudes, or way of relating towards others that the Lord might want me to change? What negative thoughts do I need to renounce?

  2. Why are God’s thoughts and ways so much higher than my own way of thinking and acting (verses 8-9)? Is there a particular thought (or way of thinking) that the Lord might want me to embrace today so I can be more conformed to his way of thinking and acting?

  3. How is God’s word like a seed that must be sown in the ground (verses 10-11)? And how does God plant his word in the earth – in the hearts and minds of people? How can we tell if his word is taking root, sprouting, making growth, and yielding mature fruit in me?

  4. What kind of reward does the Lord offer to those who allow his word to be planted in their heart and mind (verses 12)? What kind of fruit might I expect to grow in me as I seek to live out God’s word in my daily life?

Read Jesus’ parable of the sower in the Gospel of Luke 8:8-15 (see below). How is this New Testament passage similar in thought to the Old Testament passage from Isaiah 55:6-12? Do you think Jesus might have had the passage from Isaiah in mind when he taught the parable of the sower?