notes on Isaiah 55

One of my favorite scriptures is chapter 55 in Isaiah . I’m not sure what the meanings of Isaiah’s words would have been to his contemporaries, but for Christians this chapter contains some real gems. The chapter opens with an invitation to grace; for those who are hungry and thirsty to come eat and drink.

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. 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.

This makes me think of Jesus; He refers to Himself as the “Bread of Life” in John chapter 6 and in John Chapter 4 , He tells us that he is “Living Water”.

Then Isaiah says that we should seek the Lord because by seeking the Lord, we receive mercy from Him. To seek the Lord one must turn from wickedness and return to the Lord to receive mercy. This is very different from how we normally think. Usually people want to seek whatever feels good at the moment, and they often think of God as a stern judge or a wet blanket intent on putting a damper on their party. Isaiah tells us that God’s way of thinking is very different from how we usually think. All of this can be found in verses 6-9 as show below.

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Then comes my favorite part; Isaiah tells us that the rain comes down from heaven to renew and replenish the earth. Then he tells us that God’s word is like the rain that comes to renew the earth. He says that before the rain can return to heaven, it waters the earth making the plants grow. God’s word does not return empty handed either, rather God accomplishes His purposes through his word. This purpose is to renew and replenish the earth. Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Word, and He will accomplish his purpose; which is the making all things new again. Furthermore, God sends the Holy Spirit to us, so that we can continue to bear the Word into the world and accomplish His purpose.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

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