“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:10-11).

Our Heavenly Father says that His word is like the snow and rain from heaven which makes the earth to bud and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Like the moisture from the sky, His word will not return to Him void, but it will accomplish the purpose for which it has been sent. The comparison here is between the earth receiving the snow and rain and being nourished or watered by it and His word (both Old Testament and New) being sent into the hearts of the people. Sometimes the earth is rocky and hard; likewise the hearts of the people may not be receptive. Yet the gospel has a way of softening or watering those stony hearts to make them grow into what God wants them to be.

When we have studied and worked with an individual or a group of people who seem not to understand or respond, we need to remember this passage and know that God’s word will not return to Him empty. It will accomplish His will even if it only serves to put Jesus enemies under His feet (1 Cor. 15:24-26). Our Father is fair and will give these people every possible chance to repent (2 Pet. 3:9).

God has ordained that He will accomplish His will through His word. Man’s ways and thoughts are not the same as God’s ways and thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9). The only way we can know God’s thoughts is for Him to reveal them to us, for only the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God (1 Cor. 2:11). God’s prophets and apostles were inspired to write the word of God in the scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17). All truth is in the scriptures (John 16:13). We can build in wood, hay and stubble, but the only thing that will endure the test of the fire is gold (1 Cor. 2:12-13). God’s word is pure gold, and we must use that to build in the hearts of the people. The Lord commanded Timothy to preach what he heard from the inspired apostle (2 Tim. 2:2), and was told to preach God’s word (2 Tim. 4:4). He commands us to preach the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11). If we trust Him, and preach His word, it will not return to Him void.


  1. What two things are being compared to God’s word (Isa. 55:10-11)?
  2. For what purpose does God ‘send’ his word?
  3. What did God promise and how did his word come to pass when the children of Israel were grumbling about the manna (Num. 11:23)?
  4. How did the Israelites rebel at God’s word at the waters of Meriba (Num. 20:24)? What happened as a result?
  5. What kind of a man does God favor (Isa 66:2)?
  6. What should the man of God do who has His word (Jer 23:28)?
  7. To what is God’s word also compared (Jer. 23:29)?
  8. He that heareth ______ ___________ and believeth on _________________ hath __________________ (John 5:24).
  9. Jesus said, “If you continue in ________ _________ you are my disciples indeed (John 8:31).
  10. Why could the Pharisees not “hear” Jesus word (John 8:43)?