Come to the Lord!
Isaiah 55-56, Revelation 11
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. – Isaiah 55:1 ESV
The invitation of God extends to all men. He offers them the opportunity to come to Him and receive what they could never find anywhere else. He promises to quench their thirst, to satisfy their hunger, to provide them with true bread, and to make an everlasting covenant with them. And He offers it all at no cost. This amazing passage is a clear prophesy of the redemptive work God offered through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Messiah was the ultimate fulfillment of this offer made by God. But to accept the offer of salvation through His Son, all men would have to accept the invitation of God to come. They would have to forsake their ways, thoughts, and attitudes. They would have to admit that God’s ways were in direct contradiction to their own. The whole idea of a single, solitary man dying as the payment for the sins of all mankind makes no sense to us. The concept of God taking on human flesh and dying a sinner’s death on a cross in order to make men right with God is impossible for us to fully grasp. But God says, “For my thoughts are nor your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8 ESV). His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. The way He works is beyond our comprehension. But we must come to Him. We must accept His ways. We must realize that His way is the only way. God would ask us, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for the which does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2 ESV). Rather than take God at His word, men will go out of their way trying to find false substitutes for what God has offered to provide. They will seek satisfaction elsewhere, wasting money and time trying to replicate the blessings of God by seeking them from this world. But God continues to say, “Come!”.
What does this passage reveal about God?
God’s invitation will not last forever. There is a time limit to His offer and there is a day coming when His offer will be removed from the table. So God lovingly pleads with mankind, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55: 6-7 ESV). The present is the time for salvation. Yet men presumptuously put off the inevitable, delaying their response to the invitation, assuming that they will have plenty of time to accept the offer at a later date. Yet the book of Revelation makes it painstakingly clear that the day will come when God’s offer of salvation runs out. He will send His Son back to earth to bring judgment on all those who have rejected Him as their Savior. The offer made in the opening verses of Isaiah 55 will expire. But amazingly, we live in a day when God’s offer is still available to all men. His promise of both abundant and eternal life still stands. The gift of His Son is still available and for those who accept Him as their Savior, the satisfaction and salvation God offers is still accessible.
What does this passage reveal about man?
Because our ways and thoughts are so radically different than God’s, we have a hard time accepting what He has to offer. We don’t want to believe that His gift of salvation is free and available to us apart from any good works or human effort. That just doesn’t make sense to us. So we determine that there must be something more needed. We wrongly assume that we can somehow earn our way into God’s good graces by doing good things or by attempting to live a good life. Then there are others who just conclude that this life is all there is and so we should attempt to enjoy all that we can get from this life while we are alive. So we seek satisfaction from the things of this world. We spend our money on that which is not really bread. In other words, we attempt to buy fulfillment and satisfaction from those things that are merely poor replicas of the real thing. We end up working hard to get our hands on things that can never bring the satisfaction they promise. And all the while, God is offering us more. He is inviting us to enjoy life and life more abundantly. .
How would I apply what I’ve read to my own life?
Even in the end times, as God will wrap up His divine plan for mankind, He will continue to offer His invitation of hope and healing. Revelation 11 tells us that, during the Great Tribulation that will come on the earth in those days, God will send His two witnesses. These two individuals will be sent from God and will witness on behalf of God. They will have miraculous powers. They will perform powerful miracles designed to prove their validity as God’s messengers, much like the miracles Moses did before Pharaoh. But these two witnesses will die at the hand of the Antichrist. They will be martyred and their bodies will be left in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days. Then God will raise them from the dead. He will restore them to life. And as a result, “Great fear fell on those who say them” (Revelation 11:11 ESV). God will then speak from heaven and call them to Himself, and they will ascend into heaven much like Jesus did. Their ascension will be followed by a great earthquake and the deaths of one tenth of the city of Jerusalem. But this cataclysmic event will have a dramatic impact on those who are left. “…and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13 ESV). Even in those days, God will be revealing Himself through His messengers and through His miracles. He will be inviting all men to recognize that He alone is God. He has power over death. He is almighty and a force to be reckoned with. But even then, His offer will still stand. “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” (Isaiah 55:1 ESV).
Father, I can’t thank You enough for the offer You extended to me so many years ago. You invited me to come. You offered me the gift of Your Son. It wasn’t based on my merit. It wasn’t because I somehow deserved it. And You offered it in spite of the fact that I was seeking satisfaction in anything and everything but You up until that point. Your invitation was a free gift and I am eternally grateful for it. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men