When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the LORD will hear them…
The late Dr. Parsons, of York, had a tea-caddy which he inherited from his father, who was also a spiritual preacher. Its history was curious. A husband and father, reduced to abject poverty, set out on a Sabbath morning to drown himself, and so escape the agony of looking at starving wife and children. A crowd was entering the Tottenham Court Road Chapel, London, and the man somehow was drawn along with the crowd. Mr. Parsons preached from Isaiah 41:17, "When the poor and needy seek water," etc. He appealed to his hearers needing temporal and spiritual blessings, "Have you put the God of Jacob to the test?" "No," thought the desperate man, "I have not." He went back, told his wife, joined in prayer, and all day seemingly in vain. But next morning temporary aid came, with directions as to work, which he found, did faithfully, and rose to comfort and notable prosperity. He offered a large gift to the good preacher, but it was declined. He sent the tea-caddy as a memento of his gratitude, which he felt could not be refused.
(J. Hall, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.