God's Offer of Mercy

Isaiah 55.1-5

Good News Translation (GNT)

"Come, everyone who is thirsty "

1 The Lord says

"Come, everyone who is thirsty - here is water!
 Come, you that have no money -
 buy grain and eat!
 Come! Buy wine and milk -
 it will cost you nothing!

2 Why spend money on what does not satisfy?
   Why spend your wages and still be hungry?
   Listen to me and do what I say,
   and you will enjoy the best food of all.
3 Listen now, my people, and come to me;
   come to me, and you will have life!
   I will make a lasting covenant with you
   and give you the blessings I promised to David.
4 I made him a leader and commander of nations,
   and through him I showed them my power.
5 Now you will summon foreign nations;
   at one time they did not know you,
   but now they will come running to join you!
   I, the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel,
   will make all this happen;
   I will give you honour and glory."

Taken from 'word-on-the-web'
supplied by Scripture Union

Come home

These words are first prophesied as an invitation
and promise to God's people in exile.
The people had walked away from their relationship with God
and ultimately lost everything, including their homeland.

We all love a party, spending time with friends,
eating and drinking and catching up.
God's message here taps into that shared human experience
of hunger and thirst as he issues an invitation to come
and 'delight in the richest of fare' (v 2).

The only prerequisites are admissions of one's thirst
and an inability to satisfy one's own needs
with one's meagre resources.

But this invitation from the Lord is not for mere physical sustenance:
refreshment is obtained by listening to him and seeking him (vs 2,6).
It is made in the context of a people who were the beneficiaries
of the Lord's covenant with David
but whose ways and thoughts had strayed far from him.

Joy and peace - along with God's pardon -
were again possible if they were to accept his gracious invitation.

The one whose ways and thoughts were immeasurably beyond theirs
was eagerly inviting them to a restored relationship
and a productive new life!

Each time we celebrate the Lord's Supper
we remember that Christ's body was broken and his blood shed
to bring us life, and we eat and drink with thanksgiving
(1 Corinthians 11:24-26).

We recall that Jesus spoke of himself as 'living water'
and the 'bread of life'
and promised that those who came to him
would never be thirsty or hungry again
(John 4:13; 6:35).

This repeated commemoration reminds us that God's invitation
to be refreshed by him is on-going.

How easy it is for us to be so preoccupied with legitimate
but secondary activities that we forget to 'seek the Lord'
and drink deeply of the water of life that sustains our souls.
How sad if we were to be like those in the parable of the banquet
who made seemingly trivial excuses and missed out
on the delights of accepting the invitation
to the party
(Luke 14:15-24).

Other versions are available here

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