This is the sermon for Sunday, March 6th, 2011.  I will be unpacking Isaiah 55 in both sermons.

The invitation part 1.

Isaiah 55 NIV – 1 “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.”

Introduction: The next two Sundays we are looking into the entire chapter of Isaiah 55.  For sake of time we will not give much background to the chapter, only just a few thoughts concerning it:

  • This chapter is closely associated with Isaiah 53 and 54.  In Isaiah 53 we see the prophecy of the Messiah coming as the sin bearing Sacrifice.  In Isaiah 54 we see the Messiah as the Redeemer and Restorer.  Now in this chapter we see that it is through the Messiah that God Almighty gives out this invitation to come for fellowship with Him.

So we are going to be dealing with this chapter in light of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

When the Law is preached properly, we are left guilty in our sin deservingly under God’s wrath and cowering before Him.  When the Gospel is preached properly we see the free invitation to come and taste the free grace and mercy of God found through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Let’s begin looking at this invitation this morning.

God’s invitation.

Isaiah 55:1 – “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.

The word “Come” is very interesting here.

  • It is the Hebrew word, הוֹי (hoy).
  • It was mainly used as an attention getting device and often used in funeral laments in ancient Israel.
  • It expresses compassion and concern to the suffering, trying to get their attention in order to bring comfort to the suffering.
  • The NET translates this word as “Hey.”
  • This invitation that God is giving is to those that are suffering from the pains and sorrow brought on by their sins.  Through the cross of Jesus Christ He is crying out.  Notice what He cries.

Come all 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.

  • There are no strings attached to the call, it is to come and be refreshed and satisfied, doesn’t matter the fact that we are poor and needy because of our sin.
  • Notice some other passages of Scripture.

Proverbs 9:5-6 – 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

John 4:13-14 – 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 6:32-35 – 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Revelation 22:17 – The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

God’s invitation to listen.

Isaiah 55:2-3 – 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.

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not sastify?

  • When someone says something is free, we always feel that there is a catch, don’t we?
  • We talk about God’s grace and that it is a free gift and not earned, but we just don’t believe it many times, so we try to earn God’s favor.
  • We think that if we can live as close to sin free as possible, give enough money, and try to do good deeds, that we will earn God’s favor and grace.
  • That is like spending money on things that are not really food, when only food can satisfy.
  • Why do we do that?  Well, part of the problem is this theological heresy that floats around in so many churches that goes something like this:  God has done his part by sending His Son do die on the cross, now you have got to do your part and God will meet you half way.
  • Folks, God doesn’t meet us half way, He has gone all the way for us so that we might be saved.  The fact is, we cannot do “our part.”
  • That is why the next phrase is so important.

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.

  • You see, even our faith that we have in God comes from Him.  How does it come: from the preaching of Christ.

Romans 10:17 – …faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

God’s invitation to see.

Isaiah 55:4-5 – 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.”

See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of peoples.

  • Now the Lord is appointing someone to be a commander and witness.
  • Many scholars feel this is the Davidic King.
  • And while this is true from the context, I feel it is pointing to a specific David King, Jesus the Messiah.
  • God is pointing us to see that the Messiah, the sin-bearing Sacrifice has come.  His death will be a witness to the peoples; His resurrected life would rule and command peoples.

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.”

  • This call to look upon Jesus goes out to the Gentiles as well, they are lost and dying in their sins, in need of a Savior, and that Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:11-13 – 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

God’s invitation to seek.

Isaiah 55:6 – Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Seek the LORD while He may be found.

  • God will not always strive with us.  We are to seek Him, while He may be found.
  • Jesus says something so wonderful in the Gospels.

Matthew 7:7-8 – 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Call on him while he is near.

  • There is a wonderful promise found in the New Testament for those who call on Him.

Romans 10:12-13 – 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Conclusion: As we conclude this morning, God has a wonderful invitation; this invitation goes out to both saint and sinner: Listen to His Word; See Jesus Christ and his substitutionary sacrifice for our sins; and seek Him and He will be found.

Whatever we are going through, God is inviting us to listen, see, and seek.

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