The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Isaiah 55

Isa 55:1

Isa 55: See Article, "My soul thirsts for God" (Isa 55).

Outline of Isa 55: Vv 1-3: Messiah's appeal (cp Joh 7:37,38; 19:34); v 4: God proclaims Messiah to nation; v 5: God speaks to Messiah; vv 6-13: Messiah's appeal renewed.

The gospel message: For all who thirst, open to everyone, no price to pay, not to be gained by one's own work (v 2), promise of kingdom (v 3), for Gentiles as well as Israel (v 5).

COME, ALL YOU WHO ARE THIRSTY: Historical relevance: the conduit of Hezekiah? Cp Psa 42:1,2; 63:1-3.

WITHOUT MONEY AND WITHOUT COST: "[Some] men sometimes think that they give all that is required of them in giving money. This has been one of the great errors of Christendom, the attempt to buy that which is 'without money and without price'. It is true that the apostle Paul says something regarding spiritual and carnal things which seems to suggest reciprocity in these matters. We must not put his teaching upside down, however. He says that Gentiles who are partakers of Israel's spiritual riches have a duty to minister in carnal matters. He certainly does not suggest that carnal wealth can buy the spiritual treasures. The two kinds of riches are on a different plane. The currency is different and there is no known rate of exchange. The wealthy man who goes to his chapel with a feeling that he can purchase anything and a readiness to give of his abundance [only] if the service pleases him, is not likely to receive any real spiritual food. He is not in the right condition to appreciate it. Possibly husks please him best. If so he can buy what he requires" (PrPr).

Isa 55:3

"If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever" (Joh 6:51).

MY FAITHFUL LOVE PROMISED TO DAVID: AV has "sure mercies". Psa 132: ref promise to Hezekiah of a continuance of Davidic Kingdom through him.

Isa 55:5

Gentile nations come to worship the God of Israel: 2Ch 32:23. In NT, cp Gal 3:16,27-29; Col 1:26,27.

Isa 55:6

Vv 6,7: Repentance and humility: uncommon to all men: Jer 3:17; 17:9; Ecc 8:11; Mat 19:17.

SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND: Or else, "you shall seek me, and shall not find me" (Joh 7:34; cp Pro 1:28). The theme of seeking, all through Joh 7: Joh 7:11,18-20,25,30,34,36).

"We must get closer to God. It is pressing and urgent. It is the whole purpose of our lives. We are never close enough. Our whole life's main endeavor must be a continuous drawing closer to Him. His Word is the great bridge across the chasm, the golden pathway through the vast wilderness. We get closer to Him by study and meditation and prayer and love and holiness -- not little dabs lost in the endless busy-ness of other things, but as a total dedication that overshadows everything, and gives direction and color to everything we do: a fixed and constant purpose in life to which all else takes a proper secondary position. Let us realize the immensity of this call to divinity and eternity -- brief, crawling worm that man is. If it does not totally seize and transform us, we are not of the people of God, but a mere incidental part of the passing background for the development of the people of God. Orthodoxy, with its bloated views of human worth and 'natural immortality', may well expect painless, effortless salvation: and automatic passing on to a naturally-destined higher state. But those who have been enlightened to man's utter perishing and mortal insignificance should know much better than this" (GVG).

Isa 55:8

Vv 8-11 focus on the reliability of the divine word and support the promises before (vv 3-5,7) and after (vv 12,13) this. Israel can be certain that repentance will bring forgiveness and a new covenant relationship because God's promises are reliable. In contrast to human plans (or "thoughts"), which are destined to fail (Psa 94:11) apart from divine approval (Pro 19:21), and human deeds (or "ways"), which are evil and lead to destruction (Pro 1:15-19; 3:31-33; 4:19), God's plans are realized and His deeds accomplish something positive.

Isa 55:10

The very sign of great fertility promised by God in midst of Sennacherib's siege (Isa 37:30).

// Ecc 11:1-6.

Isa 55:13

The feast of tabernacles. The gracious rain of God's word transforms "thorns" and "briers" into beautiful, fruitful trees.

AN EVERLASTING SIGN: Cp Isa 56:5: everlasting name. Ct Isa 53:8: cut off out of land of living.

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