By Toni Ford
I just returned from a two-week trip to Israel, touring the Holy Land and serving a Messianic Jewish congregation in the city of Ashdod. On New Year’s Eve, our team had the privilege of praying over the city of Jerusalem from a prayer tower that overlooked the city. It truly was an incredible experience being able to worship and pray for the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel. While I was praying, this verse in Isaiah kept coming to mind for numerous reasons. Isaiah 43:19 (NLT) says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
This verse was written at a time when Judah was suffering under Babylonian exile. Isaiah was reminding the people of Judah, what God had done in the past, alluding to the great Exodus of Israel from Egypt. He was discouraging the children of Israel from getting stuck in the past and instead admonishing them to look forward with great expectation of the new thing He would do.
Normally, when I read this verse I always focus on the first part of the verse, the first few sentences in particular. When reading Isaiah 43:19 this time, however, I realized I had missed out on an even greater revelation from the last two sentences: “I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Many of us this past year might have walked through a dry, barren wasteland, or a wilderness season, just like the children of Israel did when leaving Egypt. And yet it was in their wilderness, their dry wasteland, their point of hopelessness that God chose to make His promise to His children regarding the Promise Land. The Lord was getting ready to do a new thing, bring them to a new season and provide them with a new land, a land flowing with milk and honey. The Israelites did not understand that in order to receive this promise from the Lord, they had to go through the wilderness first. God is about to do something new, but you had to go through the wilderness in order to get to the promise land He has for you!
As we enter a new year, I pray that if you have been in a wilderness season during 2017, you would be encouraged by Isaiah, knowing that the Lord is going to do a new thing for you as well. He has actually already begun! Our heavenly Father wants to do new things in the lives of His children: “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5). May this coming year be a year filled with His blessings of new things in each of your lives.
If you would like for me to join you in prayer please email me at email@example.com and I would love to pray for you.