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Isaiah 55 His Water, His Thoughts, His Ways, His Word, His Purpose. ISAIAH. CH 55 690 BC. Isaiah 55

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Isaiah 55

His Water, His Thoughts, His Ways, His Word, His Purpose

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ISAIAH

CH 55

690 BC

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Isaiah 55

551 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Here begins an announcement: “Ho!” (Hey, you! Hear ye, hear ye, step right up! Don’t hesitate; the price is right! Listen up; you can’t beat this offer; you can’t beat these terms! What are you waiting for?)

And that’s how it is with the Gospel: the best news ever; the best terms, the best conditions, the best benefits – and yet people persist, even to this day, in either ignoring it all, or outright rejecting it, or even opposing it by preaching against it!

The “waters” = the refreshing, sustaining power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The “wine” also symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and healing. The “eat” = the Bread of Heaven, the Bread of Life (Jesus), and Communion with Him. “No money” = the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. “Thirst” = after righteousness; for they shall be filled. The “milk” = the new Land of Milk and Honey, whose builder and maker is God. “Without price” = Jesus paid it all. “Buy” = buy-in.

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Isaiah 55

55 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

“That which is not bread” = bread that comes from the earth. There is a “True Bread”, and Jesus speaks about it in John 6:24-68 – one of the most amazing discourses in history, and one of the most readily misunderstood. Understanding this passage requires the guidance of the Holy Spirit, mentioned in verse 1; see how verse 2 goes to John 6.

We ought to read the entirety of that long passage. Even the apostles said it was a “hard saying, who can hear it?”. Transubstantiation? No!

In both Isaiah 55:2, and in this passage from John, the Lord says “food that comes from the earth is perishable; you work for it, but it doesn’t last. God sent manna. It was a symbol of me, Bread from Heaven; I am the Bread of (ETERNAL) Life. Believe on me, and live forever. Be part of the Body of Christ; participate fully; immerse yourself in Him. Both baptism and the Lord’s Supper are symbols of this fullness of identity with Him = spiritual food and drink. And it’s in Isaiah, 690 BC!

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Isaiah 55

55 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

“Incline” = draw near Me, turn toward Me (and I’ll draw near to you).

“your ear” = he that hath an ear. Doesn’t everybody? No. You have to tune in to His frequency, get on His page, get in His groove.

“come unto me” = Jesus’ invitation to all who are weary of futile work.

“hear” = faith comes by hearing God’s Word; the just shall live by that.

“soul” = your mind, will and emotions; these are in need of transformation, because they are the immortal you. God won’t have your soul in His Presence unless your soul gets saved, i.e., regenerated. So, what are people waiting for?

“covenant” = the Gospel, the New Testament in Christ’s own Blood.

“sure mercies of David” = Paul at Antioch, preaching, explaining that this phrase is mostly about the promises of forgiveness of sins, and of resurrection from the dead. I am in no position to contend with Paul, and the Holy Spirit Who inspired him, on the meaning of this phrase.

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Isaiah 55

55 4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

In a very real way, since the last word of the previous verse was “David”, we may either surmise that this is a future “David”, who would come in the office and character of David.

Luke 1:30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his nameJesus.32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Mark 11 9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

In addition, this Witness to the people (Heb. 1:2) would be the leader/commander to the people. No one else can fulfill this.

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

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Isaiah 55

55 5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

The way this verse is addressed, it would seem to refer either to Isaiah, or, by association, to Israel.

When he is made to begin this prophecy, verse 1, with a “call” (to the thirsty), it would seem to apply to Isaiah himself: he is calling a nation he doesn’t know, through this prophecy, and through many others he was given, calling attention to the coming Messiah, and, often, making oblique references to the gentile Church.

The Christ-child comes through Israel, and in that sense, of course, the nations come running to the Holy One of Israel (by reading Isaiah!).

“for He hath glorified thee” is an awkward translation; I like the NIV here, which says “He has endowed you with splendor”. I believe it refers to Isaiah’s role in writing the most highly cherished prophetic references to Christ. Most of Handel’s Messiah comes from Isaiah; so it can truly be said that God “endowed his work with splendor”.

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Isaiah 55

55 6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

This is another pivotal verse in Isaiah 55 – one that frames the entire appeal of the Bible. It gives people a prerogative (seek) along with a promise (He can be found); it gives an imperative (call) along with a deadline (while/near) along with an immanence/imminence (He is accessible/at any time/at any place). Some verse! Break it down:

Seek/Find:

You’ll seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

Seek and you shall find. (Matt 7:7)

He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Heb 11:6)

While:

This is a very dispensational term. It means that there is a period (NOW) while God can be found, a period (NOW) during which He is near. It also means there will be an end to that dispensation. You don’t want to miss the deadline (think, DEADline).

Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2)

Near:

Immanent: being within the limits of possible experience or knowledge; present

Imminent: close in time; about to occur; at the ready

Proximal: he is right here; there is no space or distance in between you and Him

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Isaiah 55

557 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Who are these “wicked”, anyway; who are these “unrighteous”?

There is a tendency for us, upon reading this passage, to say, “Yeah, Isaiah! Preach it! Those people need to shape up!”

But that is NOT the import. Suppose we insert one word in the first part, to read: “Let the wicked forsake his (own) way…)

Isaiah 53:6 We have turned, everyone, to his own way.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Romans 3:23 …all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.

Galatians 3:22 …the Scripture has concluded all under sin.

Ps 14: 2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. This is quoted in Romans 3:10-12.

So the verse is talking about ALL OF US; and it becomes painfully obvious that a remedy is necessary; and it becomes tantalizingly tentative that we must choose to forsake our own ways and thoughts; but it looms breathlessly glorious that such a remedy IS available!

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Isaiah 55

557 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

How can we “return unto the Lord”? Does this imply that we were once with Him? No. But our grandpa was. In Adam, we have all sinned. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

And, what our grandpa had (Paradise, Eden, life in the Presence of God), he lost. He was infected with a disease (sin), and we caught it.

So that’s what we want to return to: His Presence. The beauty of it is, He is calling us to do just that, right here, in this verse: “Let him return” (choice). That is part of our doctrine, based in purely scriptural reality: God made a Way that seemeth right unto Him. So it IS right.

Matt 7: 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

John 14: 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. The “way” to what? The Way to return to God! And only when we forsake our own way can we embrace His.

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Isaiah 55

557 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

This, then, is the exceeding great reward, and the blessing to all nations God promised Abraham (Gen 12:2-3; 15:1), the real “holy grail”. And is it any wonder that He promised it to Abraham, who is the spiritual “grandpa” who shows all who follow in his footsteps that it is by faith that we are able to climb aboard the Ark and ride along The Way? And is it any wonder that He showed it to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, when He showed him a ladder that provided God a Way to come down to us, along with a Way for us to go up, to Him?

The Way (the Ark, the Ladder, the Path of Righteousness, the Good Tidings of Great Joy to all people, the Rapture, the Resurrection), and all its benefits, come to us through the Blood of Jesus Christ, and that alone. It is our faith in His finished work that completes the deal.

We can return unto the Lord (Jehovah, in Hebrew), and to our God (Elohim, in Hebrew). Jehovah is Christ. Elohim is the Trinity. When we come by faith, His mercy and abundant pardon will save us.

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Isaiah 55

557 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

God chose to show us a dual set of human behaviors that need complete renewing: our WAY and our THOUGHTS. He then implies that, by our return to Him, we avail ourselves of completely superior ways and thoughts: 55: 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

What an elegant parallel! The difference and distance between earth and Heaven is infinite. The difference between God and man is also infinite. Yet He condescends (Philippians 2:7) to our level, in order to bring us up to His. When He went back, He sent us a foretaste of Glory Divine in the Person of the Holy Spirit, which is the Earnest of our inheritance (Eph 1:14). He is not taunting us by comparing us to Himself; no, He is making this a part of His invitation, in verse 7, to return!

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Isaiah 55

557 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Here, God is giving a foreshadowing of His intent to change us into new creatures, accept our resignation, and our rebellion away:

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 12:I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Cor 10: 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

This is the benefit of praying in the Spirit; His thoughts become ours.

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Isaiah 55

557 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Here, God is giving a foreshadowing of His intent to change us into new creatures, accept our resignation, and our rebellion away:

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 12:I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Cor 10: 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

This is the benefit of praying in the Spirit; His thoughts become ours.

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Isaiah 55

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Here, God shows that He is renewing His Creation. His metaphor is agricultural, like the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:3-23), in which God shows us that the Gospel, though altogether good, is difficult to germinate in rock-hard, obstinate, self-willed people. Nevertheless, His good Word, the Seed, WILL take root, and flourish, in some. God always gets a remnant. He came to save all, but not all get saved – that is a given (few there be that find it).

The other point here must be that God will win souls and deliver His redemption, with or without you, or anyone else who hears this invitation. His purposes will not be thwarted, nor aborted.

Our part is to enlist in the service of God, so we can have a part in His accomplishment: the redemption of His purchased possession.

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Isaiah 55

55 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

And, to those who do decide to enlist, there is the victory. Everything gets transformed, back to original Paradise (and then some) – eternal joy, eternal peace, eternal celebration, endless fascination. There will also be an end to the difficulties brought up by the curse:

Gen 3:17b “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Thorns, briers, thistles – the “wait-a-minute bushes” of life – all those will be gone forever. That is an everlasting sign we can truly enjoy; it’s a great way to end our commentary on Isaiah 55.