Today the Lord our God is extending an invitation to you. He is saying to each one of us today: “Come and eat!” “Come and drink!” “Come and Be Satisfied!” Today, we are walking through the chaos and the desperation which are even now grievously threatening to starve us of our places of peace and prosperity. Chaos starves us of our places at the great feasting tables of plenty and purpose. In these times of many great and greater worries, we grow hungry and thirsty. How hungry and how thirsty are we today for life which is so infinitely better?
Isaiah 55:1-2 New Revised Standard Version
An Invitation to Abundant Life
55 Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
“Come and be satisfied!” This is the message our God is speaking to us today through his prophet Isaiah. Our text is the Old Testament Reading from Isaiah 55. Ponder again the first part of this text: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”
This day we are walking through Isaiah 55. The prophet is speaking God’s Invitation to people who are in exile, who are broken: “Time to go home.” He is speaking to the hungry and the thirsty… those who are yearning for their deepest needs to be quenched… It has been 70 years since the people of Israel have been taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Most of the people have been born captives, knowing nothing else. Only a small percentage of the very oldest among them have childhood memories… Isaiah is sent by God to tell the people: “This is the Word of the Lord for the Children of the Lord: “It is Time to go home!””
It is time to go home. It is time to return to God. It is time to accept the Lord’s greatest invitation to return to Him. May this coming Lenten season, we will witness God’s Spirit move upon the hearts of the broken, those that are Thirsty.
When God speaks to the people though Isaiah, “Come, all you who are thirsty” he is speaking to a people that have hit the bottom and have nowhere else to go.
70 years in exile. Some have known nothing else. All of their efforts to rescue themselves have fallen short. Arrogance/posturing/false strength has long ago vanished. I have seen people literally on their death bed that are at last broken now ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ…it’s awesome. Only those that hit the bottom are ready… The invitation to return home to God is to the thirsty.
Rabbi Jesus extended a similar invitation in John 7:37. The scripture says, “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.”
Money doesn’t do any good. God’s invitation is not for the rich, the powerful. The invitation is for those who have nothing but simply bring trust and faith and receive what mercy God has to give all. Water, wine and milk, it’s all free.
- Water is life giving, refreshing, cleansing, growing. Without water there is no life. The human body cannot long survive the total absence of water within it.
- Wine is to bless and celebrate life. Wine represents the joy of being a Christian saved by the grace and mercy of God, celebrating the new life offered in Christ.
- Milk is nourishing and has substance, representing the need to grow in Him, learn. When we were first born, it was our mother’s milk which first nourished our bodies, gave us the antibodies to protect, fight off infections. Water, wine and milk are offered by the Lord Jesus Christ for those that return home to Him.
Isaiah 55:2 asks the question of ages: “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?”
Often all we have energy to do is to shake our head at the crazy world we live…We ask the same question of others and ourselves as Isaiah all the time, only we use different words: “Why do we waste our money, time, with ________?”
We lament the business of being in business, the relentless drama… it’s all our choice you know, we are not victims! Why did I spend my money on worthless stuff that is gone… Anyone ever buy anything in the past month they regret?
Anyone engage in activity this week which was unwise? Are any of you even now planning to waste your money and time with things that bring no lasting peace this coming week? Do you not ever get tired of making decisions and choices you know already will not be the wisest and most fruitful possible?
Here in these verses, we see several things about the Lord’s invitation. We see who the ones are to whom the Lord issues this invitation. We see how much it costs to come and buy the rich food and thirst-quenching drink the Lord offers to each of us. And we see the folly of going after those things that do not satisfy.
First, then, who are the ones to whom the Lord is extending this invitation? Isaiah tells us: “everyone who thirsts” and “he who has no money.” Is that you? Are you thirsty? Do you realize your spiritual poverty? If so, then this invitation is definitely for you. If not, then you need to rethink your situation.
So, are you thirsty?
In the New Testament, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
To the sinful Samaritan woman at the well, in the high heat of the day, he says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever.” And at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus says, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” You see, Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. When Isaiah says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,” he’s really looking ahead to the birth, life of Jesus, who would give the waters that will satisfy our thirst.
So, are you “just thirsty” or “desperately thirsty?” Do you sense and feel your spiritual thirst? Do you realize something’s wrong, something’s wrong with you? That you are a sinner? That you have broken God’s good commandments and gone contrary to his will? That you haven’t done the things that you know God wants you to do? That you have done things you know you shouldn’t do?
That’s sin, and it should make you thirsty, spiritually thirsty for something, anything, that will take away your guilt and your shame. Do you sense and feel your own lack of inner righteousness? That you aren’t good enough to stand before almighty God on Judgment Day and pass his muster? Do you feel these things? Do you know it and own it? If so, that’s actually a good thing, because now you are ready to hear and respond to the invitation, He extends to you.
The great invitation of God is to return home to Him, like the soldier returning home to a waiting family…Why do you spend your energy, your time, on dead end decisions. The invitation to go to God is free, free to us…we know, however, in the fullness of time, this act it is not going to be even the least bit free to God.
Hundreds of years after the time of Isaiah, God sends us his son Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary. We call it Christmas…. Jesus was born to die/// die on the cross as the ultimate act of mercy and sacrifice for our sins. The invitation is free, but it literally costs God everything. I imagine tears as God’s children return home to him, like the tears of the family when the solider returns home.
“Come” is the invitation of God. The thirsty/broken are invited. LISTENING is the way to accept the invitation. I’m believing God has in mind a leisurely sort of listening which takes a whole lot of time for we the hearer to digest what is surely being said, listening that considers what is being heard, listening that is, on our parts, thoughtful and attentive, merciful and sacrificial (Romans 12:1-2)
There is too much listening to the invitations from man to enter into an abiding relationship with the god of this world. There is, too, far far, too little listening to the God who created this world, who authored and ordered our lives from the very beginning of our existence (Psalm 139:13-18) and we are not the least bit attentive to the quiet invitations of “Yes! there is definitely a far better party” to go to and be a part of the truest life of someone who definitely knows how to live.
“The Best Party Anywhere?” We have all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Meaning, it may sound like it’s free, but it really isn’t. There are strings attached. You may not be paying directly for that supposedly free lunch, but somewhere down the line, you are, whether in higher taxes or whatever. In this world, in this life, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
But when it comes to the food and drink that God offers, it is absolutely free, absolutely truly free. This is a gracious invitation, all by grace, a free gift. A free gift of life in maximum abundance, of eternal Salvation. Leave your debit cards at home. Leave your credit cards at home, or better yet, lock them all up forever! God has already paid the bill in full. (John 3:16-17, John 17-18 and John 19:35)
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us pray,
God, from the beginning, you were the word. You sent your only son to save us all and he even allowed himself to be tortured and crucified to obey you. Bless me with the gift of understanding and of unshaken faith in you. Let me know the meaning of your words in the Bible and how to live accordingly. Open the door of my heart. Fill me beyond overflowing with your light, your wisdom and understanding. Make me hungry beyond hungry, thirsty beyond thirsty. Amen.