Yesterday I preached on “Contentment” – and someone came up and asked me about a word they had found in the Old Testament for Satisfaction that is transliterated “saba”. It means to be “satisfied”. In Psalm 17:15 David said he would be satisfied to simply have the Lord’s image every day. Pretty good place to start.
So as I looked today, for this member at some of the passages that use this word, I was reading Isaiah 58:1-11. You should read it. The word is found in Isaiah 58:11. God promises his people a satisfaction, a filling i.e. a “holy fullness” that cannot be filled by anything else.
So, while our salvation IS based on his Grace alone, though faith alone, there ARE many aspects of the Christian life that are naturally conditional. And in this passage, in verse 11 he does promise to satisfy our needs and to strengthen us. He promises we will flourish like a “well watered garden”, like a never-ending spring. It says we can rebuild upon our ruins, repair broken walls and have restoration.
But it is a conditional promise.
IF we stop oppression and pointing our finger at others, which is not talking about prophetic preaching, but about “malicious talk”. If we ONLY point at others to condemn them, instead of to incite them to repentance, then God can’t bless
IF we “spend ourselves” for the hungry and oppressed … that is certainly in resources but it is deeper than that. Spend yourself, not just a check but signing over our lives in giving and serving.
THEN our LIGHT will Rise in the Darkness. Night will become LIKE Noonday.
When the Church of the Lord commits to “True Religion” as James 1:26-27 describes, a controlled tongue, a commitment to the helpless and hopeless, and a commitment to personal purity, … THEN … Light Shines in Darkness.
What is the point of religious expression? What is the point of worship? Do we worship for selfish reasons? Here in Isaiah 58 God says that his people are “fasting” but for what reason? Obviously it was for selfish reasons, because when God doesn’t respond to their prayers, they ask “why did we fast?” “haven’t you seen?” They complain that God doesn’t notice and their self-denial just results in them fussing and fighting. Worship isn’t about ME, or it isn’t worship!
The physical purpose of fasting is that the “resources saved” in the fast can be spent on the hungry and oppressed, and clothe the naked. When we deprive ourselves and lift up others THEN that Light SHINES.
The Spiritual Response then is that God sees, hears, and responds accordingly. The GLORY then of God, that is His Reputation, protects us, surrounds us on every side. And we find that We Call and He Will Answer. We Cry for help and He says “I am Here” …
Dear ones, every time God says “I Am Here” we will be Satisfied, if not as we want, always as we need. His Grace of Presence is always sufficient.
Worship Him and find Satisfaction