Isaiah 44:3
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and currents on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.
Sermons
A Promise for Us, and for Our ChildrenIsaiah 44:1-5
Biography in Three WordsJ. Stalker, D. D.Isaiah 44:1-5
Jacob, Israel, JeshurunA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 44:1-5
JesurunJ. R. Macduff, D. D.Isaiah 44:1-5
The Church Comforted and RevivedAnon.Isaiah 44:1-5
The Offspring of IsraelE. Johnson Isaiah 44:1-5
The Spirit Promised to the Seed of JacobD. Rees.Isaiah 44:1-5
Why are the People of God Called by the Name of JacobJ. Stalker, D. D.Isaiah 44:1-5
Revival Promised in the Power of the SpiritR. Tuck Isaiah 44:2-5
A Christian ChildhoodIsaiah 44:3-5
A Revival PromiseIsaiah 44:3-5
Child-PietyT. Champness.Isaiah 44:3-5
Christian Home EnvironmentJ. Stalker, D. D.Isaiah 44:3-5
Encouragement for Parents and ChildrenEssex RemembrancerIsaiah 44:3-5
God's Blessing on the Offspring of His PeoplePresbyterianIsaiah 44:3-5
God's Covenant with Christian ParentsEvangelical Advocate.Isaiah 44:3-5
God's Spirit as Water and FloodsJ. R. Macduff, D. D.Isaiah 44:3-5
Overflowing in Usefulness to OtherT. Waugh.Isaiah 44:3-5
RevivalR. M. M'Cheyne.Isaiah 44:3-5
RevivalDickerson Davies, M. A.Isaiah 44:3-5
Revived ChurchesIsaiah 44:3-5
The Church and the ChildrenA. Tucker.Isaiah 44:3-5
The Essential Diffusiveness of Spiritual ReligionT. G. Selby.Isaiah 44:3-5
The Holy Spirit for Both Jews and GentilesR. Macculloch.Isaiah 44:3-5
The Indispensable BlessingW. Clarkson Isaiah 44:3-5
The Influences of the Holy SpiritL. Forster.Isaiah 44:3-5
The Spirit Acts Through BelieversT. G. Selby.Isaiah 44:3-5
The Value of Young LifeScientific Illustrations and SymbolsIsaiah 44:3-5
Vitalising Power in Spirit. Filled MenT. G. Selby.Isaiah 44:3-5
Water an Emblem of the Holy SpiritD. Rees.Isaiah 44:3-5


We may well speak of water in the natural realm and of its antitype in the spiritual as -

I. THE INDISPENSABLE BLESSING. There may be abundance of earth, and it may be of the most valuable quality; there may be the utmost diligence in the field, and the latest agricultural science; but if the rain be withheld, if no water can be obtained to nourish the sown seed, there can be no harvest, - the indispensable blessing is not bestowed. So is it in the sphere which is more sacred and more serious. You may have the soil of spiritual human nature, you may have the seed of Divine truth, you may have the diligent and watchful culture of the Christian pastor; but if the influences of the Holy Spirit do not descend, there will be no ingathering for the Husbandman. God must pour down his rich blessing, or all our labours in the Master's vineyard will be barren of result; there will be nothing for Heaven to see but thirsty land, dry ground, fruitless farming.

II. THE FIELD WHERE WE MOST DESIRE THAT THESE RAINS SHOULD FALL. "I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." We desire that God should be blessing the ministry we render to the aged; we are more solicitous that words of Divine wisdom should penetrate the minds and affect the lives of men of middle life, on whom such duties devolve, with whom so many issues rest; but we are most concerned that the truth of Christ should enter the understanding, cleanse the conscience, possess the soul, of the young.

1. They are, in a peculiar degree, the objects of our love; they may be "our seed, our offspring." But if not, we are strongly attached to them, and therefore interested in their spiritual welfare.

2. They stand at a point where religious decision will make the very greatest difference. If now they seek God and surrender themselves to his service, they will have a large and noble contribution to make to the cause of righteousness, to the service of mankind.

3. Unaffected and unwon in youth, the obstacles in the way of decision and devotion are continually increasing.

III. THE BLESSED RESULT OF THE DIVINE BESTOWAL. There will be a glorious spiritual upspringing. "They shall spring up," etc. There shall be the signs of abounding life. The life that will be seen when the floods of heavenly influence are poured forth will be manifest in:

1. The stem of sacred conviction. God's truth revealed by Jesus Christ will be the staple of human thought.

2. The flower of fitting utterance. (Ver. 5.)

(1) The Name of Christ will be honoured by a Christian profession; and

(2) the people of God will be honoured by close association with them.

3. The fruit of holy usefulness. - C.









For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.
The double figure is expressive of copiousness, abundance, variety (both the "water" and the "floods"), the rain from heaven and the mountain torrents to refresh the parched land.

(J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

If these expressions are intended to signify different classes of people, the former may denote, in a figurative sense, the Jews, who had not yet received the Holy Spirit in that plentiful measure which they earnestly desired, and, unsatisfied with present enjoyments, were ardently longing for further communications of Divine grace, and the salvation of the Lord. The latter may signify the Gentiles, who had not been favoured with Divine ordinances and Divine influences, whose condition had been exhibited in preceding passages of these prophecies as uncultivated and barren, resembling a wilderness.

(R. Macculloch.)

A work of revival almost always begins with the children of God. God pours water first on "him that is thirsty," and then on "the dry ground."

(R. M. M'Cheyne.)

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A DISTINCT AGENT IN THE SCHEME OF REDEMPTION.

II. THE PROMISE OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT TO SECURE THE GRAND PURPOSES OF REDEMPTION FORMS A PROMINENT AND INTERESTING PART OF REVELATION.

III. EVERY PERSON WHO BELIEVES THE GOSPEL RECEIVES THE DIVINE INFLUENCE WHICH IT PROMISES.

IV. THE HAPPINESS AND USEFULNESS OF BELIEVERS REQUIRE THEM TO SEEK A MOST COPIOUS EFFUSION OF THE INFLUENCES OF THE SPIRIT. The Spirit promotes the happiness of believers —

1. By gradually advancing their sanctification.

2. By making them increasingly the objects of Divine complacency.

3. By preserving them from temptation, and habitually disposing them to seek communion with God.

V. EVERY BELIEVER HAS REASON TO EXPECT THAT THE INFLUENCES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL RE MOST COPIOUSLY IMPARTED TO HIM.

VI. THERE IS AN APPOINTED ORDER OF MEANS WITH WHICH THE BESTOWMENT OF DIVINE INFLUENCE IS CONNECTED, and in the constant observance of which its most copious effusion should be sought.

VII. IF WE HAVE NOT THE INFLUENCES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, OR IF WE DO NOT POSSESS THEM IN AN EMINENT DEGREE, WE ARE NOT MERELY UNFORTUNATE BUT GUILTY.

(L. Forster.)

1. Water is a blessing universally necessary.

2. A blessing universally diffused.

3. An abundant blessing.

4. A cheap blessing.

(D. Rees.)

The Spirit must first show forth His virtue in us according to our faith before He can act upon our neighbours. He must be a Spirit of revealing truth in us before He can go forth from us to illuminate the world. He must be a Spirit of conviction in us, making us mindful of our errancies, before He can lead the world to penitence. He must be a Spirit of assurance in us before He can chase the fears and dry the tears of a mourning world. He must be a Spirit of holy, tender, undefiled charity in us before He can assimilate the world to Christ's great law of love. And all these things the Spirit becomes to us through faith. Some districts are riverless, not because the rain never falls, but because the soil for a great depth down is so porous that the rainfall passes through it like a sieve. The district that cradles rivers must have a soil and underlying foundation that will hold the rain like a sponge. And the graces and virtues present in the character whose root-principle is unfeigned faith hold the benign influences of the Spirit as in hidden fountains and storehouses, so that the world may be blessed by the steadfast outflow.

(T. G. Selby.)

These words remind us of the essential diffusiveness of the religion which has faith for its ruling principle and the presence of the Holy Ghost for its daily heritage. The scale according to which we receive the Spirit must not be that of our own personal necessities only or the demands of the passing opportunity. As the Spirit dwelt in Christ with inexhaustible spontaneity for the sake of the larger humanity He had come to bless, as well as for Himself, so must it be with us. However narrow the visible measurements of our life, if we receive the fulness of the Spirit we shall touch the entire world through those subtle and expansive forces which brood within us. We are sometimes humbled because our sphere of action seems so cramped and circumscribed. We long for wider fields. We should like to be the instruments of Divine activities which will affect continents and live through centuries. But into what a little space our aspiring natures seem to be shut up! There are Christians, excellent in character and rich in mental gifts, whose influence seems to go no further than the home, the shop, the office, a select coterie of friends. If the Spirit is in us, however, these mystic rivers will flow forth, and for the honour of Him whose name we trust the Spirit will see to it that our opportunities are imperial in their magnitude. We shall affect for good the fortunes of many lands, and our destiny shall be large and resplendent as our best aspirations. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred we will not let our influence take wings and pass through its appointed realms and latitudes. The panting springs can find no outlet, and the Spirit is restrained because those are so narrow who give to Him an earthly home. Our religious toleration, for instance, we carry to an extent that is simply sinful. We see men in process of being ruined, and, forsooth, we do not wish to interfere with their "religious convictions," as we call them, — just as if any man's convictions were worthy of respect when they do not keep him from sin! We think of ourselves as wells to which our neighbours may come if they wish; but the murmuring streams are forced back into the fountain-head, and wells become little better than cesspools. There must be an onward-pushing force in our religious life.

(T. G. Selby.)

There are souls around us so arid, scorched, and desolate that it seems almost impossible to educe within them a single grace or morality. Races are to be found — at least such is the testimony of the white men who are anxious to supplant them — which lack the rudimentary aptitudes for virtue, humanity, religion. They have received a prodigious endowment of appetite, passion, blood-thirstiness from the beast-world below them; but the spirit-world above them seems to have failed to filter down into their lives a single principle of light, truth, tenderness. Even these may be vitalised with a new ethic and fitted for a higher destiny than that of the dust-heap. But it must be by the Spirit in Christ's disciples. The trader who is a nominal Christian and a practical savage goes into their borders, and is an emissary of swift and complete destruction. They are touched by European commerce, and deteriorate and die off m swarms. They are forced into contact with Western civilisation, and they resent its restraints and perish from the lands of their forefathers. All these secondary influences are but as rivers of poison flowing through their borders, and a strange fate compels them to drink what they know to be the cup of death. The streams which can make this human desert, without a hint of verdure and land-marked with whitened bones, into a paradise, and keep it shaded with foliage, glorious with fruit, thick-set with holy homes and song-filled temples, must go out from the souls of men and women who have received the Holy Ghost.

(T. G. Selby.)

Essex Remembrancer.
In its relation to the Jews, there was a partial and very interesting fulfilment of this promise on the day of Pentecost, in the remarkable effusion of the Holy Spirit which then took place, and the blessed effects by which this was followed: but there is a still more striking and illustrious accomplishment to be realised, when, as the result of Divine influence, the Jews, as a nation and people, shall be brought back to God, and become incorporated with the Gentiles in that "one fold," of which Christ shall be acknowledged the true and only Shepherd. As a promise pertaining to Gospel times, it is one in which we have a clear and direct interest. As to the particular design of the promise, the very terms in which it is expressed show that it is intended to refer, not perhaps exclusively, but still most emphatically, to the children and posterity of those who have themselves loved and feared God. Consider the promise, —

I. IN ITS APPLICATION TO CHRISTIAN PARENTS. It should be regarded —

1. As an encouragement to the faithful exercise of parental discipline and instruction.

2. As a warrant for believing application at the throne of grace.

3. As a satisfactory ground for hope and encouragement, even under the most unpromising appearances.

II. IN ITS APPLICATION TO THE DESCENDANTS, AND MORE ESPECIALLY THE CHILDREN OF PIOUS PARENTS.

1. This promise affords you no security, apart from your personal acceptance of Christ and submission to His authority.

2. This promise supplies you with the richest encouragement in seeking your salvation and an interest in the Divine favour.

3. This promise should encourage the pious descendants of godly ancestors to aim at more than ordinary eminence in their personal devotedness to God. The imagery of the text seems to imply that a special decision and fixedness of purpose may be expected: "One shall say, I am the Lord's," &c. It indicates, too, great vigour and rapidity of growth: they shall grow "as willows by the water-courses."

4. This promise will leave you doubly without excuse, and greatly aggravate your guilt, if you persist in neglecting salvation. How pleasing to perceive that while the promise applies more especially to the posterity of believers, it does not exclude others! Not only will God give His Spirit and impart His blessing to the seed and offspring of His people, but He will pour water upon every one who is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.

(Essex Remembrancer.)

These "exceeding great and precious promises" are "unto us and our children."

I. GOD'S PROMISE OF BLESSING UPON THE CHURCH.

1. Its import. Refers to the effusion of the Spirit.

2. Its participants. God's ancient people — in a sadly backsliding state. How deeply they needed the effusion of the Spirit! Two facts prove this to be our great want.

(1)The low and languid piety of many.

(2)The comparatively small success of the various agencies for the conversion of souls.

3. Its abundance. God gives what He promises only in answer to prayer. His promise cannot fail. "I will."

II. GOD'S PROMISE OF BLESSING UPON THE CHILDREN OF THE CHURCH.

1. Our children need the Holy Spirit. Religion is not hereditary. No natural goodness can supersede His work. Spiritual life is not natural life carried up to its highest point of attainment.

2. God promises to give the Spirit as abundantly to them as to us. Same terms used. And having received the Spirit, they are to grow in grace vigorously (ver. 4). The manifestation of this in public (ver. 5).

(A. Tucker.)

Foremost among the judgments which followed Israel's idolatries was the visitation of drought. Dwelling, as we do, under milder skies, and in a sea-girt isle, we enjoy copious supplies of fertilising rain. Yet, even in our own land, a sensible reduction of the rainfall in spring is followed by empty shocks in August. But in the sunny climes of Syria, if the half-yearly gift of rain failed, the effect was disastrous in the extreme. In the footsteps of famine marched dark-robed pestilence, and grim Death with his scythe of keenest edge. Nor was this all. Towns and hamlets, stripped of strong men, became an easy prey to the marauder. Successful raids paved the way for desolating war; and defeat, oppression, national ruin, came in swift procession. Hence, impiety, must have grown bold indeed, if the Hebrews did not earnestly ask for the 'early and the latter rain." Now if drought is so injurious in the fields of nature, is it not equally injurious in the Church?

I. A STATE OF BARRENNESS DESCRIBED. The ground is said to be "dry" — that is, in a parched and impenetrable condition. This is not its normal state: this is deadly to vegetable growth. For some reason the land has been deprived of dew and rain. No seed, however big with latent life, can break its rigid shell; much less spring up or prosper. With such homely imagery as this the prophet leads our thoughts from the outer world to the inner. There is a sense of need expressed. Here is a marked improvement. The soul is athirst; the insensibility is guns. The rigid hardness of winter is at an end.

II. A GENEROUS GIFT PROVIDED. A promise from God is as good as its performance.

1. The Source of the supply. It must come from above. The great folly to which all men are prone, is to seek the supply of their wants apart from God.

2. The suitableness of the means. What can be more suitable than showers of rain for a thirsty soil? Yet equally suitable is every gift of God to satisfy the wants of dependent man!

3. The copiousness of the gift. If showers will not suffice, there shall be floods.

4. The range of the promise. It shall not terminate with ourselves: it shall extend to our children — ay, to our children's children!

III. ABUNDANT FERTILITY FORESEEN. There shall be a revival of life in the Church, as in the parched fields after a copious shower — as in nature, at the advent of spring.

1. Multiplicity of conversions is here predicted "They shall spring up as amongst the grass."

2. Rapidity of growth shall be another feature of this era.

3. Constancy of verdure will be enjoyed. They shall be "as willows by the water-courses." In the arid deserts of the East you will find here and there — conspicuous for their rarity — bright spots of luxuriant herbage, fruitful palms, flagrant flowers, in the midst of scorching sand. The secret is here, — that far down beneath the surface, a fount bubbles from the riven rock, which, watering the roots of trees and grass, produces beauty, shade, and fruit. So have we seen a man, placed in a very desert of privation — exposed to a scorching sun of trial — yet retaining all the freshness of his piety, and yielding fruits of wisdom, patience, hope. For the roots of his faith were nourished from a secret spring.

(Dickerson Davies, M. A.)

I. THE GREAT COVENANT BLESSING OF THE CHURCH The gift of the Holy Ghost. Whatever metaphor is used this is the meaning of it.

1. This blessing has been already given. We must never underrate the importance of the ascension of our Lord, and the gift of the Spirit which followed thereupon. He is permanently resident in the midst of the Church.

2. This blessing is the subject of a promise. A promise of God is the essence of truth, the soul of certainty, the voice of faithfulness, and the substance of blessing. What a right royal promise it is! We hear the double "I will, I will."

3. This gift is a most needful blessing.

4. While we need the Spirit of God, His working is most effectual to supply all our needs when He does come upon us. In the East, you can generally tell where there is a stream or a river by the line of emerald which marks it. If you stood on a hill, you coma see certain lines of green, made up of grass, reeds, rushes, and occasional trees, which have sprung up along the water-courses. Nothing is required to make the land fertile but to water it. Even thus let the Spirit of God come upon any Church, and it is all that it needs to make it living and fruitful.

5. The promise is liberal and unstinted. "Pour floods." I have seen in Italy the fields watered by the processes of irrigation: there are trenches made to run along the garden, and smaller gutters to carry the lesser streams to each bed, so that each plant gets its share of water; but the husbandman has to be very careful, for he has but little water in his tank, and only an allotted share of the public reservoir. No plant must have too much; no plot of ground must be drenched. How different is this from the methods of the Lord! He pours the water; He deluges the land.

6. This covenant blessing is peculiarly promised to a certain class of persons who are especially dear to us. "I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed," &c.

II. THE GLORIOUS-RESULT OF THIS COVENANT BLESSING.

1. The upspringing of spiritual life. Wherever the Spirit of God comes, there will be life in the Church and in the ministry; life in prayer, in effort, in holiness, in brotherly love.

2. The next effect will be seen in the calling out of numerous converts by the Holy Spirit. "They shall spring up as among the grass, and as willows by the water-courses." Who can count the blades of grass? The converts called out by the Spirit of God are vigorous and lively. The grass in the East springs up without any sowing, cultivating, or any other attention: it comes up of itself from the fruitful soil. There is the water, and there is the grass. So where the Spirit of God is with a Church there are sure to be conversions, it cannot be otherwise.

3. These conversions will come from all quarters. One shall say, another shall call, another shall subscribe. One comes from the wealthy, another from the poor, a third from nobody knows where. They shall come from all trades and occupations, from all churches and denominations.

4. These converted people shall be led to avow their faith. They shall not, like Nicodemus, come to Jesus by night.

III. THE CONDUCT SUITABLE IF WE OBTAIN THIS BLESSING.

1. We must confess how dry, how wilderness-like we are.

2. Let us cultivate prayer.

3. We must put forth our own personal effort.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Egypt has the river Nile all the year round, but as a fertilizing power the Nile is practically useless till it is in flood and overflowing its banks. Then it bestows the needed blessing upon every foot of land it touches. It is when we are filled with the Spirit to the point of overflowing that we become a power for good to others.

(T. Waugh.)

If you go down to some of our Thames bridges, you will find the barges stuck fast in the mud, and you cannot stir them. It would be a very difficult thing to provide machinery with which to move them; all the king's horses and all the king's men could not do it. But wait till the tide comes in; now every black, heavy old barge "walks the waters like a thing of life." Everything that can feat is movable as soon as the silver flood has returned. So, many of our Churches lie in the mud. Everything seems motionless, powerless; but when the Spirit of God comes in like a flood, all is altered.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed.
(with Acts 2:39): — Has God given to us any sure grounds to expect the conversion of the children of His people. Note —

I. THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE CHILDREN TO THE PARENTS, as it is laid down in Scripture. It is plain that when God becomes our God, He becomes the God of our children.

II. CHRISTIAN NURTURE furnishes us with another reason for expecting the salvation of our children. "Train up a child," &c.

III. WE MAY FOUND OUR HOPES UPON GOD'S FAITHFULNESS AS A PRAYER-HEARING GOD. Let us not despair if the answer to prayer be long delayed. The Rev. Mr. Grimshaw, rector of Haworth, had but one son, and he did not follow his father's footsteps. After his father's death, he was heard to say, in his maudlin drunkenness, when riding, "This horse once carried a saint; now it carries a devil." Yet, hopeless as this case seemed, he became a true penitent, and one of his deathbed sayings was, "How astonished my father will be to see me in heaven!"

(Evangelical Advocate.)

There have been few of the great teachers of Christendom who have not derived their deepest convictions from the impressions made by their earliest domestic environment.

(J. Stalker, D. D.)

Scientific Illustrations and Symbols.
The nation of the future rests upon the cradles of to-day. The young life in any institution is that which repairs its defects, enlarges its usefulness, and stimulates its charities. The young life, in any family, is the influence which suns the path of age, invigorates exertion, and quickens the growth of the virtues. Where would the valour and vigour of the country be if deprived of the support of young life? Disraeli says that almost everything that is great has been done by youth; and the history of heroes is the history of youth. In the vegetable world the mission and influence of the young life is not less plain than powerful. According to Louis Figuier, the bud must be considered as a fundamental element in the plant, which, without it, would soon perish. It is the bud which year by year repairs the losses, supplies the flowers, the leaves, the branches which nave disappeared. Through its means the plant increases in growth. Through it its existence is prolonged. The bud is the true renovator of the vegetable world. Therefore these buds are everywhere — on the roots, the leaves, and sometimes even on the flowers, for Nature never loses sight of the phenomena essential to organic life — namely, the production of new beings.

(Scientific Illustrations and Symbols.)

A Christian gentleman's little son, just before he died, said to his father: "When I get to heaven, I shall go up to Jesus and say, 'Jesus, I know You; my papa told me about You.'"

(T. Champness.)

Rev. F. B. Meyer was asked: "How did you find Christ?" This is his written reply: "I do not remember when first I became a Christian. The love of God came over me as the dawn over a summer sky; and it was only in after years that I realised what God had done for me in those early days. My mother and father were godly people. They expected me to be a Christian, and at my mother's knee I said my morning and evening prayers. It is to their prayer and faith and unremitting care that I owe everything."

Presbyterian.
: — Speaking of the way in which his mother received him when he informed her that he had decided to leave the railway office and become a minister, the Rev. John M'Neill said: "Taking my face between her hands, she drew it close to her own and said, 'John, I meant you for that before I ever saw your face.' I knew then, what I had never guessed before, that I owe my conversion and my ministry to my mother's prayer."

(Presbyterian.)

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