In the “Easy to read Bible translation” we read in Isaiah 55:11
It is the same with the word that I speak.
It will not return to me empty.
It will do what I want it to do.
And it will cause the purpose
that I sent it for to happen.
Then someone who was told by his “pastor” that his words had power, even creative power, so he could speak things into existence, used this verse, in this translation to prove that his words had power, and that his words would do whatever he wants them to do.
But who is the “I” in this verse?
And who is the “me”?
It is NOT you, but God the Father!
This will become very clear to you when you don’t just take this verse out of its context but but also read the verses that are written just before this one.
You are NOT God, and you cannot speak things into existence!
Only God can!
Let us look at some other translations
New International Version
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
New Living Translation
It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
English Standard Version
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Berean Study Bible
so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.
King James Bible
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.
New King James Version
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper [in the thing] for which I sent it.
New American Standard Bible
So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding [in the purpose] for which I sent it.
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding [in the matter] for which I sent it.
So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding [in the matter] for which I sent it.
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So shall my word be
All the truth which God reveals is as much adapted to produce an effect on the hard and sterile hearts of men as the rain is on the earth.
It shall not return unto me void
It shall not return to me without accomplishing that which God intends.
And it shall prosper
- That God has a design in giving his Word to people. He has as distinct an intention in his Word as he has in sending down rain upon the earth.
- That whatever is His design in giving the gospel, it shall be accomplished. It is never spoken in vain, and never fails to produce the effect which He intends.
The gospel is no more preached in vain than the rain falls in vain.
And though that often falls
▪︎ on barren rocks,
▪︎ on arid sands;
▪︎ on extended plains where no vegetation is produced,
▪︎ or in the wilderness ‘where no man is,’
and seems to our eyes in vain, yet it is not so.
God has a design in each drop that falls on sands or rocks, as really as in the copious shower that falls on fertile fields.
And so the gospel often falls on the hard and barren hearts of men.
It is addressed to the proud, the sensual, the avaricious, and the unbelieving, and seems to be spoken in vain, and to return void unto God. But it is not so.
He has some design in it, and that will be accomplished.
It is proof of the fullness of his mercy.
It leaves people without excuse, and justifies himself.
Or when long presented – apparently long in vain – it ultimately becomes successful, and sinners are at last brought to abandon their sins, and to turn unto God.
It is indeed often rejected and despised.
It falls on the ears of people apparently as the rain falls on the hard rock, and there are, so to speak, large fields where the gospel is preached as barren and unfruitful of any spiritual good as the extended desert is of vegetation, and the gospel seems to be preached to almost entire communities with as little effect as is produced when the rains fall on the deserts of Arabia, or of Africa.
But there will be better and happier times.
Though the Gospel may not now produce all the good effects which we may desire, yet it will be ultimately successful to the full wish of the widest benevolence, and the whole world shall be filled with the knowledge and the love of God.
Rain may to us seem lost when it falls on a desert, but it fulfils some purpose of God. So the gospel word falling on the hard heart; it sometimes works a change at last; and even if so, it leaves men without excuse.
The full accomplishment of this verse, and Isaiah 55:12, 13, is, however, to be at the Jews’ final restoration and conversion of the world (Isaiah 11:9-12; 60:1-5, 21).
So shall My word; My promises before recited concerning the sending of the Messiah, and the blessing of His labours with such wonderful success, and concerning the reconciliation and pardon of the greatest sinners, and concerning the redemption and salvation of his people.
It shall not return unto Me void
It shall not return unto Me without success.
It is an allusion to an ambassador who returns without despatching that business for which he was sent.
It shall accomplish that which God pleases; in the conversion of sinners, and in the comfort of saints
It shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it
It shall have that effect which God intended;
it shall certainly be fulfilled in the manner before expressed.
It shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it:
▪︎ whether it be the savour of life unto life, or the savour of death unto death;
▪︎ whether for the quickening of sinners, and reviving of saints; or for the hardening of men, and leaving them without excuse to perish in their sins,
both in the Jewish and Gentile world.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mout… My good word, as the Targum.
This may either be understood of the Christ, the eternal Word, who is called the Word of God, and may be said to go forth out of his mouth, being spoken of by all his holy prophets, since the world began, whose coming was like the rain or snow (Hosea 6:3), He came from heaven, from His Father there, and as a free gift, and in consequence of a decree, as the rain does; the manner of His coming, like that, was suddenly, gratefully, and with great efficacy, watering His people with His grace, through the ministry of the word, and making them fruitful.
And though He returned to heaven again, yet not empty, without fruit and effect;
▪︎ He produced a large harvest of souls,
▪︎ He procured all blessings of grace for them,
▪︎ He accomplished the whole will and pleasure of God, in effecting the salvation of His people; and the pleasure of the Lord prospered in His hand:
Or else it may be interpreted of God’s word of promise; the promises are made in heaven, and come from there as the rain and snow do; are the gifts of God’s grace; are very refreshing and reviving, as rain to the earth; and are always effectual, being yea and amen in Christ Jesus.
And being made good, fulfil purposes, or the good will and pleasure of God; particularly promises concerning the Christ, pardon and peace through Him; such as are given forth in this chapter: or rather it may be meant of the word of the Gospel:
- which is of God;
- which comes from heaven;
- which is a blessing grace;
- which falls according to divine direction here and there;
- which tarries not for the expectations, desires, or deserts of men;
- which falls in great plenty; and is a blessing wherever it comes:
- which is the means of softening the hard hearts of men;
- which of cooling the conscience set on fire by the law, and allaying the heat of divine wrath there; and of refreshing and reviving drooping, disconsolate, and weary souls:
- which is the means of the first buddings of grace in the Lord’s people, and of the larger exercises and flourishings of it, and of all fruitfulness in good works:
- which is productive of seed to Christ the sower, and fruit to his ministers who labour under him, and of bread to the eater, the believer, whom it furnishes with the bread of life to feed upon by faith:
- And which shall not return to God void; it is accompanied with a divine energy; it is the power of God to salvation:
so ☆ כֵּ֣ן (kên) ☆ Adverb ☆ So — thus
My word ☆ דְבָרִי֙ (ḏə·ḇā·rî) ☆ Noun – masculine singular construct | first person common singular ☆ A word, a matter, thing, a cause
that ☆ אֲשֶׁ֣ר (’ă·šer) ☆ Pronoun – relative ☆ Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that
proceeds ☆ יֵצֵ֣א (yê·ṣê) ☆ Verb – Qal – Imperfect – third person masculine singular ☆ To go, bring, out, direct and proxim
from My mouth ☆ מִפִּ֔י (mip·pî) ☆ Preposition-m | Noun – masculine singular construct | first person common singular ☆ The mouth, edge, portion, side, according to
will not ☆ לֹֽא־ (lō-) ☆ Adverb – Negative particle ☆ Not, no
return ☆ יָשׁ֥וּב (yā·šūḇ) ☆ Verb – Qal – Imperfect – third person masculine singular ☆ To turn back, in, to retreat, again
to Me ☆ אֵלַ֖י (’ê·lay) ☆ Preposition | first person common singular ☆ Near, with, among, to
empty ☆ רֵיקָ֑ם (rê·qām) ☆ Adverb ☆ Emptily, ineffectually, undeservedly
but ☆ כִּ֤י (kî) ☆ Conjunction ☆ A relative conjunction
it will accomplish ☆ עָשָׂה֙ (‘ā·śāh) ☆ Verb – Qal – Perfect – third person masculine singular ☆ To do, make
what ☆ אֲשֶׁ֣ר (’ă·šer) ☆ Pronoun – relative ☆ Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that
I please ☆ חָפַ֔צְתִּי (ḥā·p̄aṣ·tî) ☆ Verb – Qal – Perfect – first person common singular ☆ To incline to, to bend, to be pleased with, desire
and it will prosper ☆ וְהִצְלִ֖יחַ (wə·hiṣ·lî·aḥ) ☆ Conjunctive waw | Verb – Hifil – Conjunctive perfect – third person masculine singular ☆ To push forward
where ☆ אֲשֶׁ֥ר (’ă·šer) ☆ Pronoun – relative ☆ Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that
I send it ☆ שְׁלַחְתִּֽיו׃ (šə·laḥ·tîw) ☆ Verb – Qal – Perfect – first person common singular | third person masculine singular ☆ To send away, for, out.
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