The Rewards of Charity
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong;
And you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
~ Isaiah 58:10-11
This sunny sketch of prosperity is not the baleful Isaiah, of rigid rules and human judgmentalism, that we are used to seeing from him. But it must be said, that neither are these promises unconditional.Though salvation is of grace, the happiness of the Christian — just as with the Jew in Isaiah’s prophecy — does depend upon his obedience.
These people, these happy people, like desert plants receiving a rainfall, possess continual guidance. “The Lord will guide you continually.” People sometimes seem to act like guidance from God is a burden imposed on them; but it is a wonderful gift. How better can we find our way to perfect happiness, than to have an all-knowing, loving God to give us directions?
You would think that a person who does charity work to relieve the suffering of the hungry and afflicted, would already be guided. And such people are, if they pursue charity in the name of Christ. So, this verse promises greater guidance to those who actively work for the Lord.
There is nothing in the world that feels better, than to feel God smile inside you at something you have done. It does refresh something inside of you, like a watered garden. “He restoreth my soul.” So, here is yet another argument for giving of our time, effort, and/or substance to help those in misery.
Lord, help me to do your will in easing the suffering of my fellow humans. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer