Today I have chosen to reflect on the Old Testament reading from the prophet Isaiah that was scheduled for next Sunday. We will not be reading it during worship so I thought it would be profitable for us to ponder it this week.
55 “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.
2 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 you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenants with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
In the Old Testament, longing for God and God’s wisdom is often associated with longing for food and water (See Psalm 36:8; Proverbs 18:4; Jeremiah 2:13). In this text the prophet Isaiah speaks for God and repeatedly cries out for people to come to God and buy the staples of life “without money and without cost”.
I’ve always found verse two to be a great personal challenge: Why am I tempted to spend so much time and money on those things that are not really necessary, and why am I tempted to work so hard for those things that are unable to satisfy my deepest needs?
And I’m willing to bet that if all of us were totally honest, we would have to admit that we’ve had to ask ourselves: Why do I get caught up in that trap of chasing after things that are meaningless, when God offers me those things that can truly satisfy me? – for free!
Whenever I read about Jesus eating and drinking with sinners (Luke 15:1–2; (Matthew 9:9–13; Mark 2:14–17), or illustrating the truth about God’s Kingdom by telling stories about people at banquets (Matthew 22:2; Matthew 25:10; Luke 12:36, Luke 14:15-23), I am reminded that Jesus is inviting us all to receive His good and satisfying gifts – for free! And as I read this text from Isaiah, I am reminded we should “Seek the LORD while he may be found” and that we should “call on him while he is near.” God is calling to us all through his word, and he’s calling us to “delight in the richest fair”, and God is calling us to answer this call right now!