My word . . . will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Walk On is the fascinating memoir of Ben Malcolmson, a student with virtually no football experience who became a “walk on”—a non-recruited player—for the 2007 University of Southern California Rose Bowl champion team. A college journalist, Malcolmson decided to write a first-person account of the grueling tryout process. To his disbelief, he won a coveted spot on the team.
After joining the team, Malcolmson’s faith compelled him to find God’s purpose for him in this unexpected opportunity. But his teammates’ indifference to discussions of faith left him discouraged. As he prayed for direction, Malcolmson read the powerful reminder in Isaiah where God says: “My word . . . will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Inspired by Isaiah’s words, Malcolmson anonymously gave every player on the team a Bible. Again, he was met with rejection. But years later, Malcolmson learned one player had read the Bible he’d been given—and shortly before his tragic death had demonstrated a relationship with and hunger for God, who he discovered in the pages of that Bible.
It’s likely that many of us have shared Jesus with a friend or family member, only to be met with indifference or outright rejection. But even when we don’t see results right away, God’s truth is powerful and will accomplish His purposes in His timing.
How have you seen the power of Scripture at work? How has that brought blessing?
Heavenly Father, thank You that Your Word will achieve Your purposes.
To urge God’s people to return to Him (Isaiah 55:6–7), the prophet Isaiah emphasized that God’s ways aren’t like ours (v. 8). He’s far more merciful and forgiving; “he will freely pardon” (v. 7). And Isaiah vividly described the foundational reason for returning to God: He’s completely trustworthy and can be depended upon to do good for His people.
Isaiah used the imagery of precipitation (vv. 10–11) to illustrate this idea. In the ancient Near East, where rainfall meant the difference between famine and harvest, life and death, this comparison would’ve been especially powerful. Rainfall, Isaiah says, makes the earth “bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater” (v. 10). Like rain, God’s words and actions on behalf of His people always bring good—deep joy and a flourishing life (vv. 11–13).