Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7 (NRSV)
We are using the farming metaphor this week to explore Isaiah 55. And it is impossible to explore that passage without bumping into the “O” words. (I’m not talking about Obama Care here).
The first of these words is “Omnipresent,” everywhere at once. Isaiah wisely advises us to Seek the LORD while he may be found…while he is near. This sounds like the opposite of everywhere at once, but it speaks more about opportunity than location. We should seek God while there is time, and He chooses to be available! In other places of his prophecy Isaiah makes the concept of omnipresence clear:
Thus says the LORD:
Isaiah 66:1 (NRSV)
The Psalmist tells us God will be everywhere we can imagine:
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
In keeping with the farming metaphor, omnipresence brings to my mind the idea of weeds; they’re seemingly everywhere! But that’s often the problem with our relationship with God – we see the weeds first.
Look at this box and tell me what you see…
You see a black dot, don’t you? But yet, by volume, there is far more white space surrounding that dot; it’s like that with weeds. I’ve got a lawn that is mostly grass, but sometimes all I can see is the weeds. Any grass (sod) farmer will tell you that the best cure for weeds in your grass lawn is good, healthy grass. Grow the grass and it will crowd out the weeds.
In our relationship with God the idea of good growth of the healthy practices of prayer, worship, Bible study, fellowship with believers and service/witness are vital. The weeds of sin will proliferate in any untended garden…you can mark that down!
How’s your garden coming along? You’ve made a good start today just reading this devotionally.
Now, go deeper…stop wailing over how big the weeds (of sin) are, and how hard it is to stop them.
Go on and water the grass (personal worship),
check the ph (prayer),
put in some fertilizer (fellowship with believers)
….and watch the weeds die!