July 30 (Daily reading: Isaiah 54-58) The opening verse of Isaiah 55, “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,” makes me think of the invitation given by Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (Jn. 7:37-38). The Lord speaks through Isaiah to offer both spiritual drink and food that satisfies. Why should we settle for less? Hear the invitation in verse 2: “Delight yourself in abundance.”
This invitation is also to hear God: “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live” (v. 3). The invitation to spiritually eat, drink and listen is made even more urgent: “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” (v. 6). We must repent and return to the Lord, who declares: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways … For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (vv. 8-9). This is an invitation to first receive God’s provision, and then go out and proclaim, not our thoughts and ways, but God’s!
God gave us an illustration. Just as the water that comes from above makes the crops flourish, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (v. 11). This promise should give us confidence to share God’s word with those who need to hear it! The promise continues: “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace” (v.12). The description of nature’s response is symbolic of the joyful response that the good news of Jesus Christ will receive!
– Al Gary