There are things in this life that we desire very much. They are legitimate desires. They are more than desires on our part; they are promiseson God’s part. Desires or promises, they are listed in a beautiful way in Isaiah 58:11:

“And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”

There is a hitch to this promise of continual guidance and spiritual refreshment. It is an “iffy” promise. Here are the “ifs”:

“If you take away from the midst of you the yoke (slavery), the pointing of the finger (accusation) and speaking wickedness, (vanity KJV, boasting) and “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” (vv. 9-10).

Earlier in the chapter, we find that God will answer when we call, that our righteousness will go before us and His glory will come behind us, and “your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily” (v. 8).

How could we ask for more? It is a promise of exuberant life, some of that “more abundance” Jesus promised, light that breaks and health that springs!

What are the conditions?

Setting men free from evilRemoving their heavy burdensDelivering men from oppressionFeeding the hungry from our own supplyBringing the poor and afflicted to our own houseClothing the nakedTaking care of our own family (vv. 6-7).

The promises are spiritual and physical, but so are the conditions. If you are interested in the conditions which are not acceptable, they are listed in verses 1-5.


Written March 1986.

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