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… and satisfy thy soul in drought

July 2, 2011

…your light will rise like dawn out of the darkness,
And your dusk be like noonday;
The Lord will be your guide continually,
And will satisfy your desire in the scorched places;
He will give you strength of limb;
You will be like a well-watered garden,
Like a spring whose waters never fail.
~Isaiah 58:10b, 11


The scorched places evoke images of shimmering heat in the desert, although the most literal translations emphasize aridity and drought more than heat. The concept of desire goes beyond the physical to the depth of soul. Green’s Literal translation renders the beginning of verse 11 as, “And Jehovah shall always guide you, and satisfy your soul in dry places.

The ‘catch’ comes in the preceding verses. This bit of poetic promise is the Then side of an If-Then statement. The If part begins in verse 9 and goes like this: “If you stop making trouble for others, if you stop using cruel words and pointing your finger at others, if you feed those who are hungry and take care of the needs of those who are troubled, then…

Two of the conditions are don’ts and two of the conditions are do’s. In order to survive and thrive in the dry places, one must begin meeting the needs of the afflicted whilst still afflicted by dryness himself.

stock photo::the spring at En Gedi

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