Isaiah 54-56

Exclusivity Without Exclusion.

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink — even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk — it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.” ­– Isaiah 55:1-2 NLT

This is an invitation from the God of heaven, issued to any and all who will accept it. It is exclusive, in that it is only available through His Son. There is no other way to enter into a right relationship with God than through the shed blood of Jesus. He is not one of many ways. He is the ONLY way. But this invitation is not exclusionary. It does not discriminate. It is not for the spiritual elite or one particular people group. It is is an invitation that is extended to all. God says, “Is anyone thirsty?” The only qualifier is a recognition of need. If you are thirsty, then come – even if you have nothing to offer in exchange. In fact, your inability to pay and admission of it is essential. Because what God offers is FREE! It is a free gift freely offered to all.

We live in a world where exclusivity and exclusion are everywhere. Prejudice and discrimination are all around us. It is a part of life. But in God’s kingdom, the door is open wide to any and all who express faith in His Son as their sin substitute and Savior. No one gets excluded because of race, economic status, physical features, or their degree of sinfulness. God says, “Make sure no outsider who now follows GOD ever has occasion to say, ‘GOD put me in second-class. I don’t really belong.’ And make sure no physically mutilated person is ever made to think, ‘I’m damaged goods. I don’t really belong.’ For GOD says: ‘To the mutilated who keep my Sabbaths and choose what delights me and keep a firm grip on my covenant, I’ll provide them an honored place in my family and within my city, even more honored than that of sons and daughters. I’ll confer permanent honors on them that will never be revoked.'” (Isaiah 56:3-5 NLT).

God’s ways are not our ways. He doesn’t think like we think. He is not hampered by our petty prejudices and partisanship (Isaiah 55:8-9). His love extends to all. His invitation is open to any who will listen and respond. “For the Sovereign Lord, who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says: I will bring others, too, besides my people Israel” (Isaiah 56:8 NLT). God has included you and me in His invitation. He has made His offer available to us. Our only qualification? Thirst. We have to come to Him. We have to come through His Son. The path is exclusive. But the offer is anything but exclusionary.

Father, thank You for including me in your offer. Thank You for extending an invitation that did not exclude me. You invited me and offered me a way to quench my spiritual thirst. My inability to pay was not a problem for You. My need did not exclude me. It qualified me. I am so grateful that Your ways are not like our ways. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men