- Isa. 54:4-56:12
Israel was as a bride to GOD. Despite having to punish her for her unfaithfulness, GOD still loved her as a husband. Today's reading offers beautiful promises of a future filled with hope to the ones who will accept GOD's invitation. These truths apply to us today just as much as they did during Isaiah's day.
4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. 5 For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. 6 The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. 7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.
(Isa. 54:4-8 NIV)
11 “O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal, And all your walls of precious stones. 13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.
(Isa. 54:11-13 NKJV)
These last few verses describe the beauty of the New Jerusalem and the blessings GOD would offer to those who would choose to come to Jesus. Isaiah continues, saying:
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. 4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples. 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from 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, 11 so is 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.
(Isa. 55:1-11 NIV)
GOD invites the one who is searching for Him to have a special close relationship with Him. Jesus paid the cost for our provisions, so that we can eat and drink without cost—for we are truly unable to pay. GOD is faithful in His promises. When He makes a covenant He never breaks His word. He always keeps His end of the deal. Our lives are limited—we are but a vapor which appears for a moment and then disappears. Therefore we need to seek the LORD while He is available to us, before it's too late. He is merciful and will forgive us.
GOD's thoughts and ways are not like ours, therefore we need not think we understand Him or know what He's thinking. The only way we know is because He has told us in the Bible, and that's all we know. GOD's Word is powerful; it never goes out of His mouth and returns to Him without accomplishing His intended purpose!