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Isaiah 55 – By Pastor/Elder Brian Nelson

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Over the past several months there has been a group of dedicated men, young and old, who have been studying Isaiah (Tuesday mornings 6:30, you are always welcome to join us!).  It would take several ponderings to give ample background to get us to chapter 55 but here is a brief catch up.  Isaiah is a prophet who lived 700 years before the birth of Christ.  Isaiah can be a hard study as it tells of a future for Israel that will not be kind.  It tells of peoples and lands that will be judged for their unbelief and completely destroyed.   Isa 25:2 “For You have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners’ palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt.”  The foreigners (unbelievers) were taking comfort and refuge and building their trust in the fortified walls and palaces not God.  There are other verses which describe the cities being brought to dust.  Think of that, the cities and possessions not just destroyed but brought to dust, nothing remains.  But in all of the destruction and judgement there always remained a remnant.  Isa 10:20 “…the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD the Holy One of Israel.”  Verse after verse and chapter after chapter of judgement and discipline, which is all just, but, always a remnant.  And, as in all of Scripture Jesus is there as well. 

Listen to how it all begins in verse 1 “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.”  He is calling everyone, Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free.  He is offering the necessity of life, water, at no cost to us, He is paying it all.  We can do nothing for this gift, the invitation, or the growth- it’s all free.  Verse 2 goes on to clarify, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”  How often do I spend my time, finances, or energy on that which ultimately does not satisfy?  Verse 3 tells us how to respond, “Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.”  What a beautiful reminder when we are obedient to His calling and ways we are not just satisfied but our souls will delight in abundance.  We should long for our souls to be delighted and that is found only in the Living Water Himself-Christ.

Another point that causes me to still contemplate are verses 6-9.  6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while He is near; 7  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.”  Verse 6 tells us there will be a time when the LORD will no longer be near or be able to be found.  Woah, when will He not be able to be found or near?  This is a great admonition that no one knows when Jesus returns.  Our days are numbered, and the time is ticking.  None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.  If we forsake our own way, and our own thoughts, repent and turn to the LORD not only does He have compassion, but forgives, abundantly!  How amazing and patient is our God?  He will not only have compassion and forgive us but do it abundantly! 

So my pondering these past few weeks has been this: Is Israel any different from us?  I ask you as I ask myself; are we seeking Him in all things?  Are we forsaking our own way?  Do we have to return to the LORD?   In what ways are we still trying to do works in our own strength?  Forsake your way and go to the one who is compassionate and gives to all who come to Him… without price.

Your brother, Brian Nelson


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