January 19, 2011: Isaiah 55 Devotional Sharing

Submitted by Bo Chen, Gracepoint Davis

Isaiah 55:1-3
What is the human condition according to this passage, and how much am I in agreement with this diagnosis?
– That we are thirsty and hungry – symbolically referring to our soul and spiritual being hunger and thirst
– That we have no money – we may have physical money to buy things in this world, but we don’t have what we need to get things that will truly satisfy, which is a restored relationship with God. Because of a broken relationship with God, we’re missing what we truly need and we have no way, on our own, to attain that. We’re spiritually poor.
– That we spend and labor, even at a high price, to feed our soul on all these things that will not satisfy.
– That what we pursue doesn’t lead to “the richest of fare” and for our souls to live

I am in agreement with this diagnosis – that apart from God, my life is described in these ways, and my hunger/thirst couldn’t be filled by anything else no matter how much I tried, invested, pursued.  I am in agreement with this diagnosis, now that I am with Jesus, that Him and His ways really lead to richest of fare and fullness of life.

What are some aspects of God’s heart revealed in vv. 1-3?
This passage shows God pleading with us.  Expressed in the passage is the note of concern and also puzzlement – why invest on things that will not satisfy or will only harm you?  This is the picture of God pursuing men and always pleading with men. It also reveals God’s heart of wanting to bless. Just like in John 10:10, the same sentiment is expressed that He really wants our life to thrive.  I’ve come to really experience this truth over the years as I got to know God more and got to know myself more.  In my moments of pride and arrogance, I rebelled against God only to learn that my way couldn’t lead to what is truly good. Then I came to the understanding that God has been good all along and what He says has always been true. It reveals God’s heart and desires to be in a covenantal relationship with us, to be with us.

Isaiah 55:6-8
Meditate on the words “he will have mercy on him” and “he will freely pardon.”  Why is an attitude of reluctance regarding repentance so out of place with the heart of God revealed in this passage?
Seeing God’s heart and human conditions revealed in this passage (and throughout the Bible), I see again how many times I have such twisted, broken views of God. Because of wrong views of God and not seeing ourselves and our conditions correctly, we doubt or think that God is on some kind of a power trip when he wants us to repent and return to him. We think he tells us “Say Sorry now!” – trying to push His weight around, trying to get us to respond so that He can satisfy His ego and win, just like what some adults would do to a frustrating, rebellious child who just wouldn’t comply. Or He wants to take away all the fun so He establishes boundaries and laws for us to abide by.  But all the passages in the Bible are so, so opposite from that and these words reveal God’s heart so differently. He’s the God who is pleading with us, wanting to reason with us and wanting us to live and thrive.  And despise our rebellion and our foolishness of pursuing things that will not satisfy, still God says He will have mercy and He will freely pardon (v.7), only if we will return to Him. This is God’s heart! And in light of this, an attitude of reluctance regarding repentance is so out of place and is really missing the heart of God. Our ego, pride and arrogance are really Satan’s ways of wanting us to cling onto our sins and perish, rather than to humble ourselves and live.  It takes so much humility, first of all, to admit that we are thirsty and hungry, that we are in need, that we don’t have what it takes to restore that broken relationship with God, and that only God can provide and we need to simply humble ourselves and turn back to Him. Repentance is the one thing that ONLY Christians can do, and the fact that we can repent is good news because we have a solution for our misery and sin-filled life because God will freely receive us.  Such reluctance is so out of place because (1) to not respond to such loving invitation is hurtful and offensive and (2) what other solutions and alternatives do we have so that my soul can “delight in the richest of fare” (v2) and “may [truly] live” (v3)?

Isaiah 55:2-3; 10-11
How is the word of God described in these passages?
– It is good, that it will lead my soul to delight in the richest of fare
– It leads to life (that your soul may live)
– God’s word will accomplish what He has willed and desired – it will achieve and fulfill HIS purpose.

In what ways have God’s words accomplished his purposes in history, in our world, and in my life?

God’s word accomplishes His purposes….

In history: in the beginning, He used His words to create something out of nothing. He used His words to pursue and plead, and to send deliverance for His people. He used His words to bring about His salvation plan for mankind, as God’s word became flesh, Jesus, and He came to show us the way back to God (John 1:14).  And God used His words through the early Christians and forefathers to spread and embody the Gospel.

In our world: He uses His words to convict the hearts of people to repentance and turn sinners back to Him.  He uses His words to convict the hearts of Christians to respond in obedience and doing His will.

In my life: God uses His word to teach me that I was created by Him and to have a relationship with Him. His word gave me wisdom, understanding and knowledge for my salvation. God uses His word to convict me of my sinfulness and rebellion against Him. He uses His words to reveal His heart and His highest vision for my life. He uses His word to lift me up in my discouragement and defeat, and He uses His word to restore hope even in times of sins and failure. He uses His words to train me and equip me for the spiritual battle He calls me to, for my own soul and also for the souls of others He has entrusted to me.

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