“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11
So I looked at this verse in several different versions and did a little digging to see what it meant. This verse came as the Israelites were going through the rituals of religion and this was in a chapter in Isaiah basically telling them how to truly worship God. God wants our hearts not just our going through the motions. Going to church and corporate worship is a good thing and it feeds my soul every week. However, we have all gone through times where maybe we were attending church and even having a quiet time, but we felt our prayers were, as they say, not reaching the ceiling. This chapter in Isaiah was giving instruction to God’s people on how not to just be ritualistic.
Our focus verse is about ministering to other people and the promise of the blessing that will come when we do. Now I know that we can’t all go on missions around the world or even to our downtown areas to feed others. But I think what is being said here is that it’s about what you can do. Let’s look at the verse in another version to truly break it down.
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” Isaiah 58:10-11 NLT
Simply put our directive here is “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.” In other words minister to the folks around you. Who in your sphere might need some ministering to and how can you help. It’s about more than just saying “I’ll pray for you.” And then do you? Now don’t get me wrong I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. But that means actually doing it. Not just saying it. I have been guilty of saying it, and going on about my business. Or typing in “prayers” to someone’s need on Facebook and scrolling on. Have you stormed heaven’s gates lately for some need, someone, or something. I try to make myself stop and whisper a prayer for whomever I am telling I will pray when I say it and/or type it in. And then is there something you can physically do to minister?
Then when you have fulfilled your part, “your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” Oh I love that! What I thought about was times when I have felt, because of circumstances that I may have, if I pour myself out to another person’s need then my darkness is not so dark anymore. My circumstances don’t seem so hard, when I pour myself out to someone whose needs are more than mine. Whether it is that they are hungry, or in trouble in some other way, or maybe my pouring out is storming the gates of heaven in prayer for them. Maybe it’s a phone call, or a written note. The key here is when we are ministering to others, our darkness becomes as light as the noonday!
And when we are doing that, when we are ministering and our darkness becomes light, also, the Lord will guide us and it will restore our strength! I’ve had this conversation with a few people recently. Even when you think things are bad for you, look around and you won’t have to look far to find someone who is in worse shape. What does the Lord want you to do for the one who is in worse shape? Focus on that, what can you do and let your day shine a little brighter today. Be a blessing to be blessed my friends!