Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Meaning of "My Word shall not return to Me void"

In Isaiah 55:11 God says, "My word which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me void, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." Jesus said in Mark 7:13, "The traditions of men make void the word of God." So in one place God says His word can't be made void & in another He says it can, thus these must be talking about different "words."

God got the idea across in Isaiah 55:11 of, "I will accomplish what I desire." Something like that pertains to keeping promises. God makes a similar statement in Isaiah 45:23 while making a specific promise at the end, "I have sworn (made a promise) by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance." Remember also 2 Timothy 2:13, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny himself."

Another interesting thing about Isaiah 55:10-11 is that it is actually future tense. He says, "the word from my mouth shall be as trustworthy as the rain coming from above to water the earth before it evaporates." Thus, at the very least, we cannot assume "the word" He is speaking about is scripture written before Isaiah.

In Mark 7:5-13 Jesus first quotes Moses (scripture) then He quotes a tradition which makes a truth claim. Here the "word of God" being referred to is the truth of God found in scripture. It can be made void by man made traditions.

The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 also gives us this idea of the word/truth of God being made void. There Jesus speaks of "the word of the kingdom" referring to the truth of the kingdom, something we now have written in scripture. Jesus says "the word can be snatched away by the evil one," "the word can fall away because of affliction or persecution," & that "the word can be choked & made unfruitful by the worries of the world & the deceitfulness of wealth."

So it is evident from the teachings of Jesus & the original context of Isaiah 55:11 itself, God saying, "My word will not return to Me void" does not refer to scripture or the reading of it but instead to the effectiveness of His promises.


  1. Good word there brother! Ahhh the joy of thinking and seeking brothers and sister!

  2. Thanks for taking time to study Gods word... soul food good stuff!!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Indeed God Almighty is faithful and His word is everlasting & will not return void.


  4. What does the word void mean?

  5. Man is created in the IMAGE OF GOD.
    Therefore it is necessary to interpret that Isaiah 55:11 also refers to Man's power of words being fulfilled.

    "Greater things than I shall thou do" Jesus

    1. The first Man [Adam] was made in the image of God. After the fall (when sin was introduced and infected all of creation) man was no longer made (more accurately born) in that holy image (of God). Rather, Adam's children were made in the image of Adam and Eve. Sinful Man, not a Holy God, is who's image we reflect. Thus the very reason we must be born-again!

  6. Connie 2015 now & this is still teaching others. God is amazing.

  7. Thank you for this, I'm so weary of Christians making the Bible out to be this magical book that by reading it alone it will effect change. If I don't believe what I'm reading and don't allow the Holy Spirit to personalize it and give me the strength and grace to APPLY IT, "Just read the word, it doesn't return void" it's no better than reading the owners manual to my broken car and expecting it to be fixed without picking up a tool!

  8. Amen! thank you for the clear explaination

  9. I've always thought The Word referred to Jesus, and that he would accomplish everything the Father sent him to do.