Monday after Whitsunday
Scripture: Isaiah 32:14-20 (NKJV)
32:14 Because the palaces will be forsaken, the bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks—
15 until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
19 though hail comes down on the forest, and the city is brought low in humiliation.
20 Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.
Isaiah uses the images of fields and trees to portray spiritual truths. When he says, “the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest,” he describes the state of the soul. The soul that does not receive the Gospel through faith is like a wilderness, dead and without water. But when the Holy Spirit works faith in it by the knowledge of the Christ and the forgiveness of sins, then life enters it and it becomes a fruitful field and even a forest.
On Pentecost, which the Church celebrated yesterday, St. Peter preached to those Jews who had called for the Lord’s crucifixion, for he says, “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). They crucified the Christ on account of their unbelief, through which their soul was dead and like a waterless wilderness. Recognizing the dead state of their soul, they beg St. Peter, saying, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). He then preaches to them the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name and many of them believe and are baptized.
Through the preaching of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit took their desolate souls and brought life to them. A dead soul produces only more death. But a living, fruitful soul, cultivated by the Holy Spirit through the Word, produces repentance, faith, and the good confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.
We pray: O God, who didst give Thy Holy Spirit to Thine Apostles, grant unto Thy people the performance of their petitions, so that on us, to whom Thou hast given faith, Thou mayest bestow also peace; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.