December 15: A Gracious Invitation (Isaiah 55:1-13)
Isaiah 55:1-13 (We will be studying the entire chapter, though only verses1-7 are cited below)
“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.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
“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. (ESV)
God is throwing a party and invites all to celebrate. He says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!” God is using the picture of a great feast as a means of inviting all people to come to him for abundant life. He says, “Come to me that your soul may live.” While even the greatest of banquets cannot satisfy our hunger for more than a day, his feast will give us satisfaction forever. The mercy and grace of God is on perfect display as he invites those who are poor and broken as well as those who are rich and arrogant to come to him and incline our lives to him for life that is abundant. Participating in this feast (that is, having a relationship with God) comes through repentance and faith. This is no different than the message of Jesus as he began his earthly ministry: “The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:14-15). Please consider the kindness of God to invite us to himself for joy and satisfaction.
Review and Apply
- What is the purpose of buying wine and milk without money and without price?
- What are you pursuing right now that is not satisfying you? Consider your possessions, pursuits, people and pleasures.
- Describe how this covenant with David lead us to this banquet? Why is it important to see the connection between David and Jesus (see Matt 1:1 and Romans 1:3)?
- Why the note of urgency in his call to seek and call (vs. 6)? Have you heeded this call? When?
- Use verse 7 to explain what it means to repent. How does it look in your life?
- How do verses 8-13 encourage us to repent and return to God?
- What is the significance of thorns and briers being replaced with myrtles and cypresses?
- How would life change if we really trusted that God's word would not return empty? How would you pray differently?
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