May 31, 2021
" 'Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!' "
“ ‘Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!’ Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” Isaiah 55:1-2
Isaiah 55 is a gospel call. It is an urgent and passionate call to the lost. Isaiah 55 has been called God’s own gospel sermon: the entire chapter is in the first person singular. The offer is universal and sincere, directed to all who are hopeless.
It immediately reminds us of a similar expression used by Jesus in His encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
“Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I give him will never get thirsty again – ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.’” John 4:13-14
Relieving hunger by supplying bread reminds us of Jesus’ words at the feeding of the 5000.
‘I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.’” John 6:48-51
Three matters are worth noting in today’s passage:
1) The recipients of the call are needy. They have no money; they have nothing with which to bargain with God for their salvation. Jesus’ parable of the great banquet ends with an invitation:
“Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and lame.” Luke 14:21
2) God genuinely desires the salvation of all sinners. Isaiah began his prophecy with these words:
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
3) Salvation is by grace, alone:
“For it is by grace that you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God - not of works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (see also: Romans 3:24-28)