Isaiah 55-56

is55.jpgGreetings!  This opens with a beautiful passage where God invites us to come to him – for free!  Our souls can “delight” and “live” because of what He has to offer. 

Note the many examples of God offering his grace to all – through the Israelites, but not just for the Israelites. 

Invitation to the Thirsty

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 your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

3 Give ear and come to me;

hear me, that your soul may live.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you,

my faithful love promised to David.

4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,

a leader and commander of the peoples.

5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,

and nations that do not know you will hasten 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 his way

and the evil man his thoughts.

Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him,

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.

So often we make God in our own image and forget that the clay doesn’t tell the potter what to do.

10 As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Verses 10-11 are a powerful passage to remember when sharing God’s word.  When in doubt we should use his words instead of ours.  He has promised that his will not return empty, but He makes no such promises about my words.

Side note: Consider how Isaiah outlines the hydrological cycle.  The Bible is not a science textbook, but the claims woven into it are accurate

12 You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,

and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.

This will be for the Lord’s renown,

for an everlasting sign,

which will not be destroyed.”

Salvation for Others

56     This is what the Lord says:

“Maintain justice

and do what is right,

for my salvation is close at hand

and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

2 Blessed is the man who does this,

the man who holds it fast,

who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,

and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

3 Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say,

“The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”

And let not any eunuch complain,

“I am only a dry tree.”

4 For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,

who choose what pleases me

and hold fast to my covenant—

5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls

a memorial and a name

better than sons and daughters;

I will give them an everlasting name

that will not be cut off.

6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord

to serve him,

to love the name of the Lord,

and to worship him,

all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it

and who hold fast to my covenant—

7 these I will bring to my holy mountain

and give them joy in my house of prayer.

Their burnt offerings and sacrifices

will be accepted on my altar;

for my house will be called

a house of prayer for all nations.”

Eunuchs and foreigners could not fully participate in the Israelite worship, but God was showing them the door was opening.

8 The Sovereign Lord declares—

he who gathers the exiles of Israel:

“I will gather still others to them

besides those already gathered.”

God’s Accusation Against the Wicked

9 Come, all you beasts of the field,

come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!

10 Israel’s watchmen are blind,

they all lack knowledge;

they are all mute dogs,

they cannot bark;

they lie around and dream,

they love to sleep.

11 They are dogs with mighty appetites;

they never have enough.

They are shepherds who lack understanding;

they all turn to their own way,

each seeks his own gain.

12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine!

Let us drink our fill of beer!

And tomorrow will be like today,

or even far better.”

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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