When we think of what scripture asks of us, and what God invites us to do in scripture, what do we think of? Isaiah beautifully describes this “invitation” of God in Isaiah 55:1-2 saying, “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?”
Wow! In a time where so many are talking about the prices of groceries, imagine living in a place where you can buy the finest goods that the world has to offer but with no money! Imagine being able to get something priceless for free. That is how Isaiah describes the blessings and pleasure that come from God’s relationship with His people. However, there is one important part of verse two that I left out of the quote above.
Isaiah continues, “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 you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”
If we want to “eat” and “delight” in what God has to offer, we must “listen diligently” and “incline [our] ear[s]” to Him.” Isaiah continues to talk about what the Lord does in people when he says in verse 7, “let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” The reason for this, Isaiah explains, is so that the Lord “may have compassion on him.” The reason God wants us to leave our old ways, lives, and thoughts behind, is so that he can have compassion on the wicked! When we think of the wicked in this world, we likely do not think of ourselves and we likely do not think that we want them to be shown compassion! However, when God sees people making bad decisions or “enslaved to sin”, He is obviously upset by the fact that they are not honoring Him, but His response to that is not to immediately to wipe them off the face of the earth (Romans 6:20-23). Instead, He says, “[f]or My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways.” In saying this, God is offering the wicked a better way: His! We have all had thoughts and thought patterns that are not Holy and frankly, that are not working well for us. Thanks be to God that He offers us His way and His thoughts, that are so much better than anything I could figure out left to my own devices.
All of this leads to a better end than we could ever fathom as well. Imagine this: “You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break out into singing, and all the trees shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (12-13). Imagine walking through nature and the mountains and hills singing praise to your King and the trees applauding the victory you have found in Him!
I beg you, leave behind your own path that is covered in briars and thorns. There is a better, higher one that is lined with beautiful cypress and myrtle trees, where you can eat and drink freely, and continue forward confidently, joyfully, and peacefully. Listen diligently to His thoughts revealed in His word and take them as your own. Why would you spend your money and effort on things that do not satisfy?
“Come, buy, and eat!”