Tag Archives: emptiness

July 25 – The Plumb Line of Emptiness

Isaiah 31-34

God, through Isaiah, is describing the devastation the result of His wrath will bring. Mountains drenched with blood, the sky rolled up like a scroll, streams turned to pitch, a fire that can’t be quenched, complete desolation where the land is inhabited only by pelican, hedgehog, owl, and raven.

I picture a ghost town in a B movie western complete with rambling tumble weeds.

Then God says He will “stretch over it the line of desolation and the plumb line of emptiness.” (34:11)

Has that ever described you? Have you ever felt that life has abandoned you, that you have a longing that burns and can’t be quenched, you feel alone, and lost, and empty?

Dear one, that is not where God wants you to live. Jesus died so that, when you repent of your sin, He can fill you to overflowing with Himself! His love. His grace and mercy. His goodness and joy. When you allow God to fill you, you will have hope for the future, and strength for the day.

The plumb line of emptiness, true emptiness, is the life without God. That void in your life was placed there by God to be filled by God alone. Oh, you can try to fill it yourself. Drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, other gods, self, career, family, busy-ness. But all are substitutes for the real thing – the plumb line of fullness which is God Himself.

That is the point from which your life is blessed by God. You don’t have to live in that black and white movie ghost town with rotting floorboards and banging saloon doors, in a place inhabited by rodents and scavengers.

Let God fill your emptiness like only He can. He’ll turn your mourning into joy, and your tears into gladness. He’ll turn your loneliness into fellowship, and your despair into hope.

Famine in the Land

When the Bible talks about a famine in the land, I look for the spiritual application for the times when my relationship with God dries up. You know those times, right? When God seems so far away, when you have a longing that isn’t realized. Something is missing. You feel lost and alone, scared and sad.

I also think reading about famine in the Bible refers to the Church’s lack of ability to grow, to reach lost souls for Jesus.

So what can we learn about the dry days in our personal lives and in our churches? Joseph instructed the Egyptians in Genesis 47 to give him everything: their material possessions as well as their own bodies. They could hold nothing back. They laid it all at Joseph’s feet and in return, he gave them everything they needed. 

Now here’s something important to remember. The Egyptians didn’t receive what Joseph gave them and go home and turn on the TV. They went to work. They planted crops that would feed their families and produce seed to keep planting food to feed their families. They paid their taxes with the grain they planted, cultivated, and reaped.

God wants us to do the same. Whether it’s our own personal time of drought or an ineffective church, we are told to bring everything to God, lay it at his feet and leave it there. We cannot hold anything back.

Our material possessions? His. Our health? His. Our dreams, our fears, our jobs, our relationships? His. Our families and our bodies given to him with no strings attached.

God wants us to know that he will give us everything we need. He’ll feed us and revive us, give us strength and assurance. Then we need to get to work. God will bless us and care for us. But we need to be obedient.

He’s given us his Word. Do we read it? He’s promised to hear our prayers. Do we pray? He’s told us he will go with us and help us share the gospel. Do we talk about him to those who need him? He tells us to flee sin, to guard our hearts, to be separate from the world. How’s that going?

Jesus said he is the Bread of Life and the Living Water. May we allow him to feed us, to refresh us, and may we get out there and point others to the One who can satisfy their souls, too.

Father, I thank you for being everything we need every minute of every day. May we who are experiencing a kind of famine in our souls follow Joseph’s example and bring everything we have and are and lay them at your feet. May we trust you to provide what we need and may we enjoy the blessings that come from feeding on the Bread of Life and the Living Water. Then, Lord may we serve you with grateful hearts. May others find you because we are faithful.