Isaiah 55 is a preacher’s passage, full of encouragement and promise for all who would listen. This prophet tells all to “Come, all who are thirsty, come to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1). He is talking about the life giving word and presence of the living God, where we will find thirst quenching relief and refreshment for the journey of life. He goes on to tell us to come because it is free and it is good.
“Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare” (Isaiah 55:2). He says, “give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live” (v.3). He is speaking about a covenant relationship with God to the faithful since David. He wants this for each of us. So he says with increasing vigor, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near” (v.6). The Lord wants to give mercy to all who would turn to Him-why?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways” (v.9). We don’t fully understand the Lord, nor will we. This is good, because we do not want to try to put His immensity in a box that is not possible, except for small minds.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (v.9). We need to get that God is infinite and omnipotent, yet omnipresent and immanent. This is not something we can get our arms around and that is why we worship Him.
As the rains and the snow come down form 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” (v.10). God is talking about a life giving word that is for everyone. He is not exclusive except to say that it is for those who would believe it.
“So 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” (v.11). I am overwhelmed by this promise of God’s power and faithfulness, because He wants to bless us with His word.
“You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst forth with song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead the briers the myrtle will grow” (vvs. 12-13). This poetic metaphor of God’s power and nourishing word should fill us with joy and song as David the sweet psalmist of Israel did. So why would we do it?
“This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed” (v.13). Yes, this is to be known throughout the earth that the Lord is God and He will do what He wants and what is good for all of us who He made. Knowing this, we should be worshiping the Lord with all of our hearts and souls and spirit.
For many this is difficult because the world might have dealt you a bad hand, or is it. God knows about it and will use it for your good and His glory if you trust and worship Him. This morning I saw a little boy in a wheelchair and several people on oxygen. I met with a dozen people in the Chemotherapy Cancer Clinic. I talked with a man who had just had both legs amputated because of complications of diabetes. Then I talked with a grieving family as they said goodbye to their wife of 60 years, mother and grandmother. It is all part of life. Yet Jesus said to His disciples after telling Him all things, ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Isaiah’s passage reminds us of God’s control and ways for us. They are above us and beyond us and given to give us peace and joy even in the middle of our trials. That is why we worship Him, to receive glory and honor and power and praise. So come to Him who is able to heal you and raise you from the pit, fill you with love and compassion so that you may flourish. AMEN