“I will pour out my Spirit”
Normally ‘to pour out’ would refer to substance but not person, so why would God refer to himself in this way?
The simple answer is that it is a metaphor – a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things where one helps explain the other. In the five-verse passage from Isaiah 44:1-5, the Lord uses the metaphor of the pouring out of water to explain what will happen when the person of the Holy Spirit touches our lives.
The Bible uses several such comparisons to speak of the Spirit of God, including water, wind, fire and breath. We also use these metaphors in describing what people are like. I remember a staff member saying, “He is like a breath of fresh air” to describe the appointment of the new principal to the high school where I had been teaching. No one thought for a moment that the man in the job was literally made of air – they understood it was just a figure of speech.
Today we will explore what the prophet meant when he described the new mission of the Holy Spirit amongst the people of God in Israel; it is like he “will pour water on the thirsty land” of their souls. Surely it is time for each of us to be open to drinking afresh the water of the Spirit as Jesus commanded, “Let everyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” (John 7:37-39).