Isaiah’s Invitation (22-09-21)
Isaiah is a prophet in Judah, the southern kingdom of the Jewish nation, at a time when the nation has turned away from God. Although he is prophesying that the kingdom will fall and the people taken into captivity, he is still calling the people to turn back to God. He is also prophesying hope for the future.
Bible Reading: Isaiah 55:1,2,6,8,12
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. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Much as I like a cup of tea in the afternoon, I’ve never been convinced by the idea that a cup of tea is refreshing on a hot summer’s day. I also enjoy some fizzy drinks, but don’t find them very thirst quenching either. For me on a hot day, a cool lager ticks the boxes best.
Within all of us there is an inner thirst, a thirst for fulfilment, for purpose and for value. The choice for us today is the same as it was for God’s people in the Old Testament, we can choose where we go to satisfy our thirst. Do we look to the world and all of its attractions, or do we look to God?
God's call to us is the same as it was to the Jewish people. He calls us to not waste our time and money chasing things that will never ultimately satisfy, but to come to him and delight in the richest fare. Let us thank God for the good things that we have but let us find our identity in him and not in our possessions.
That is not to say that the things that the world offers are wrong, though some are, but simply to question where we actually find our fulfilment, our value, and our purpose. The same is true with other choices we make in life. The values of world systems often run contrary to the values of God’s kingdom. Where there is a conflict, God's ways will always be higher than our ways and God's thoughts better than our thoughts.
Are there ways in which your priorities have drifted away from God's priorities, or your ways of thinking from God's way of thinking? Will you allow the truths of God’s word and the leading of his Holy Spirit to guide you back so that you can go forth again, both in joy and in peace?
Father God, I come to you to satisfy the thirst in my life.
Show me where my thoughts are at odds with your thoughts,
and lead me back to follow your ways in all I think, say and do.
All who are thirsty