An Oasis of Words
Middle River, Marshfield, Maine
Words are important and powerful. They may be a sword or a lullaby depending upon the user’s intention or whim. Strung together, words create stories, poems, lyrics and conversations. They can break hearts or cheer souls. Used wisely, they may encourage and refresh needy spirits and nurture good character. Contemptuous or gossipy words diminish and destroy. Truth spoken with love may inspire change or resolution. Misleading or harsh and condemning and deflating words lead to despair.
God’s Words are presented as creative, redemptive, and transformative in the Biblical narrative. Jews accept the Law and the Prophets as sacred and morally instructive, and Christians also believe that the Gospels and Epistles and New Testament books are historically revealed and divinely inspired words which convict, correct, exhort, instruct, and transform by addressing humanity’s thirst for spiritual health and healing through personal faith. (Genesis1) (Romans 3:24; 12:1-2) (1Timothy 3:16) (Hebrews 4:12) (Ephesians 2:8-9; 5:25-26)
Isaiah recorded that God created oases to sustain His people even in arid deserts. “I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine. I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means— that it is the LORD who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.” (Isaiah 41:19-20 (NLT2) Those havens where life could be sustained, refreshed, and sheltered were metaphors for the spiritual strength and refreshment found in God as one navigates a parched, dreary, colorless, uncertain, and precarious spiritual journey through life.
The Psalmist sang: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither…” (Psalm 1:1-3)
The Apostle Paul addressed the need for grounded and focused thinking. Worldly advice from pundits and ungodly companions will never quench our deep spiritual longings or protect us from evil or its eternal consequences.. “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” Colossians 2:8 (NLT2) God’s Word supplies more than moral guidance. It reveals truth about ourselves and our existence, about meaning, righteousness, and redemptive hope for our shame.
Just as God refreshes this mysterious and beautiful world, He refreshes our souls with love, acceptance, forgiveness, restoration, joy, and hope through faith in the redemptive work of Christ and in the truths revealed in His inspired Word.
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. (Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT2)