Isaiah 55:1–13comment (0)
April 30, 2009
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: Isaiah 55:1–13
Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile
The Invitation is Inclusive
Multitudes are leading lives of frustration. Many have testified that the marriage they thought would fulfill them has not, the job they thought would make them happy has not and the promotion they were certain would bring them lasting satisfaction has not. Even lottery winners who were sure of a life of joy and contentment have confessed the opposite turned out to be true. God’s Word shows that He alone can satisfy spiritual hunger. He wants spiritually hungry people to turn to Him in repentance and faith and thus experience lives of blessing and joy that will forever glorify Him. This week’s lesson highlights the invitation to God’s blessing of salvation, secured by the suffering Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Awesome Bargain (1–5)
God invites people in need to experience His salvation. The invitation is designed to bring humans out of a life of dissatisfaction and spiritual bankruptcy into a life filled with everlasting mercy. The transportation out of spiritual poverty into spiritual wealth rests upon the basis of the work of the suffering Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ. Eternal life cannot be earned; it is received as a gift secured by Christ’s death and resurrection. We are saved by God’s grace, not our religious activities; our responsibility is to trust Christ. The individual who, ignorant of God’s gift, seeks to earn that which can never satisfy is invited by Him to a glorious life unattainable on his or her own. Only God can satisfy the human heart.
Amazing Grace (6–7)
Salvation is available to everyone. The wicked and unrighteous who turn to the Lord find God’s gracious pardon and compassion. All are invited to come. When they do, they will be turning from their former evil ways and thoughts and turning to the Lord, who supplies forgiveness.
While God’s offer of salvation stands open and addressed to everyone, the opportunity to receive it is limited by life’s uncertain duration (we do not know when we shall die) and unending distractions (job, the state of the national economy, personal relationships, illnesses, etc.). Today is the best chance to receive freely the forgiveness offered by His amazing grace. Receive it today by turning to Jesus in faith and repentance.
Astonishing Power (8–11)
God’s compassion for those who turn to Him comes because His thoughts and ways are far superior to ours. Salvation by grace through faith is precisely contrary to the way humans ordinarily think; we usually think of salvation being achieved by works, activity and performance. Furthermore people do not have to understand everything involved in God’s plan of salvation in order to receive the benefits. We are not saved by intellectual activity but by responding to His message of redemption. Although God intends for us to use our minds to reason and understand His salvation, it is not smart people who are saved but trusting people.
Isaiah compared God’s Word to rain and snow that water the earth and help give it abundant vegetation. In the Middle East and especially in Judah, the dry, hard ground seemingly overnight can sprout with vegetation after the first rains of the rainy season. Rain is necessary for physical life. Similarly God’s Word is necessary for spiritual life.
In addition, God’s Word possesses inherent power. Some people have learned by experience the power of His Word. They refused His invitation to spiritual life only to be converted later, as they remembered and reflected on Scripture they had heard. God’s Word has the ability to accomplish what He intends.
Abiding Glory (12–13)
The closing verses of Isaiah 55 refer specifically to God’s future blessing upon the nation Israel when it is regathered in faith to its land. The Lord God promises His faithful people that they will experience in the future millennial age, His joy, peace and guidance and, in this way, bring everlasting glory to Him. We, today, are promised such future blessing also because of our by-faith relationship with Jesus.