Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 31

From Handbook to God’s Promises


God’s Words Achieve God’s Purpose
(Isaiah 55:10–11)

As teachers, two men in the Bible stand above all the rest. The Lord Jesus Christ and King Solomon were without pedagogical peer when it came to capturing and holding the interest of their listeners. Their ability to present profound truth in the plainest of terms has made them the stuff of legend among the great communicators of history. Their secret? On a purely human level, it was their use of a figure of speech called simile that allowed them to connect with their audience. And in Isaiah 55:10–11, we find God using that same technique to bring home a fundamental promise about the purpose of His words.

The power of simile is simple: Take a concept or phenomenon that is well known to your audience and use it to illustrate a more ambiguous concept. The words like or as are key to identifying similes in literature. Jesus used similes in parables (count the uses of the word like in Matt. 13), and Solomon used similes in proverbs (for example, Proverbs 25:28). In today’s passage, God uses a powerful simile through the prophet Isaiah.

Read Isaiah 55:11 by itself. We get the meaning adequately, but in fairly concrete terms. Now read verse 10, and see how the idea of the purposefulness of God’s words is expanded in your thinking. Suddenly you’re picturing the spring rains and the streams fed by melting snows that replenish the earth and cause it to burst forth with leaf and life. And to what end? So the seeds can be sown by the sower, which results in bread for the eater. The purpose of the rain is that you may have your daily bread—and live!

By the use of simile, God says that His word is like the rain from heaven and melting snow from the mountain. It goes forth purposefully to accomplish His will. It soaks in, refreshes, and eventually accomplishes the purpose for which it is sent.

When we read the Bible, God’s word to us, we may be assured that there are no idle words in it. Like every drop of rain, “the smallest letter or stroke” of a pen in God’s Word has a purpose and will be fulfilled (Matt. 5:18).

God’s Promise:
Every word He speaks to you is spoken on purpose.