Posted by: Brad Beaman | July 13, 2012

An Invitation to all who thirst

I have a vivid memory of temperatures of 100 degrees with high humidity. We were spending the hot summer days of high school in full football pads doing wind sprints and all sorts of drills. We took salt tablets to prevent cramps from all the loss of salt through sweating and we would be so thirsty during those practices that we were desperate for something to drink.

Then our coach would blow the whistle and call for a Gatorade break. That was an invitation that was never refused. God gives an invitation too for all who thirst spiritually.

Isaiah 55:1-13
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”

God’s invitation is to the nation of Israel after they spent many years in Babylonian captivity. They had acquired possessions in their captivity and even owned land.

A glorious future awaits them if they are obedient and accept God’s invitation. Their concern for earthly riches threatens to keep them from true spiritual riches of the blessings that God gives.

The invitation is to everyone (come everyone Verse 1) It is a universal invitation. What a wonderful truth that God is no respecter of persons. The invitation is not come if you have it all together or have high social standing.

This invitation is for those who live on both sides of the tracks. God is going into the highways and byways with his invitation to offer His invitation.

Those without water know the aching pain of thirst. Water is symbolic of God’s presence. Waters of God’s presence which satisfy are on offer from God himself. In the context water is a precious commodity. In both Israel and Babylon water can be scarce.

It was so valuable that it was not unusual to have water merchants. God is offering to satisfy spiritual thirst to those without money. The waters that truly satisfy the painful void without God are freely available to all.

In John Chapter 4 we have the conversation recorded of Jesus and the woman at the well. Jesus asked her, “Where do you get life-giving water?” Then the disciples want Jess to eat and Jesus says he has spiritual food.

In verse 1b there is an invitation to the hungry. People spend money on food that satisfies their hunger for a few hours. Here is food offered that will satisfy for eternity and it comes without cost.

There are three variations to the invitation; come, buy and eat. God’s gift cannot be purchased, but are received by faith. We are called to listen carefully. We must hear with the intention to obey. God makes salvation available to all with an everlasting covenant. This is something to rejoice over!

The everlasting covenant goes beyond Israel’s deliverance from Babylonian captivity to salvation in Jesus Christ. In verse 5 God calls Israel into foreign mission. Israel is to alert the nations to acknowledge a sovereign God.

You need God’s forgiveness more than anything else. The good news to this is that we really see God’s willingness to forgive in verses 6-9. You must seek the Lord. God is not going to force himself on you.

God will pardon anyone who acknowledges and forsakes their evil ways in repentance. Now is the time to seek God. Turn to God while He is near. Don’t try to silence your conscience with frivolous activity or pain killer. Repentance is needed and not is the time to respond to God.

God’s ways are so lofty and our understanding of God is so finite. In Verse 8 we read that we cannot understand the ways of God. We all know that God works in mysterious ways. How high are the heavens above the earth? God’s thoughts are so much higher than ours. Don’t try to intellectually understand all the ways of God but just turn to Him in faith now.

We see the power of God’s Word in verses 10-11. God’s Word will accomplish what God intends for it to do. That goes for the spoken Word of God, the written Word of God the Bible and the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.

You can compare this to the agricultural cycles. You have the snow, rain and water and also the seed for crops. Sometimes when we speak God’s Word to others it is like a seed that germinates. It is like the bean seeds I showed to the new believers in Christ. Verse 11 emphasizes just how God’s Word works in your life.

There is a blessing that results in turning to God. This is seen if verses 12-13. The departure of Israel from Babylon will be a mighty victory. They will leave Babylon with joy. There is a poetic description of this in verse 13; the barren lands will be transformed and the trees will clap their hands. The joy of deliverance form exile. The only greater joy is the deliverance from sin when we trust Jesus Christ to save us from our sin.

It is puzzling when a sinner refuses God’s grace. You should seek the Lord while He may be found. There is urgency to God’s invitation to you.

Only God will satisfy those who thirst spiritually. The time to respond to God’s invitation is now.

Read more here Trusting Jesus Christ

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Responses

  1. Brad, thank you for the reading. As always I find your posts very helpeful in my walk in the Lord.


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