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How can a person capture with words a love that is beyond description?
Isaiah 55 pictures God’s love in action with breathtaking images.
Free, But Not Without Cost
As Missouri is inundated with rain and flash flooding that is occurring, it may seem strange to think of other parts of the country or places in the world that experience the exact opposite.
For example, fourteen Middle Eastern countries are labeled the most “water stressed” nations in the world. Water is truly a precious commodity in Israel, Qatar, Iran, Jordan, and many more of the nation of this region.
While we may not stress over the lack of water, many know the difficulties of the spiritual desert.
God’s promise to a thirsty land – both physical and spiritual – shows how much he loves humans.
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food. (Isaiah 55.1-2)
God isn’t passive with his offer of water for the thirsty. He calls out and encourages every thirsty person to drink of his life-giving water.
Jesus identified himself with the fulfillment of life-giving water and said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.
“As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’
“Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7.37-39).
We have the opportunity to receive the Holy Spirit and to experience his activity in our inner self. God so loves us that he provides his Spirit at great cost to him, but at no cost to us.
Stories of God’s Love
I am writing this article on a Sunday afternoon. I attended my favorite class this morning, where people told of God’s work in their lives.
— I heard one man describe how God spoke to him through a random TV program while in the hospital.
— A woman described an answer to a prayer that seemed like a “long shot” for anyone except God.
— Another man talked about going from homeless to being a business owner.
Whether these people are aware of it or not, they have received God’s water of life. His Spirit is at work in their lives for his praise and their good.
It is sad to say that there were people who sat in the class seemingly unaware of God’s great offer. Unfortunately, they are spending their lives like frittering away money for that which is worthless.
A Necessary Response
The difference between people who are living with the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit and those who are distant from God’s Spirit is our response.
Isaiah makes it clear that a response to God’s love is necessary.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
Let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55.3, 6-7)
Four important responses to God’s love are noted in these verses.
(1) Listen and Live – When we think about it, one of God’s greatest gifts is his willingness to speak to us. He tells us that our willingness to listen to his guidance is key to finding the best life possible.
In the Bible to listen is always to obey and follow directions.
(2) Seek and Call – God is near and he may be experienced in a real and personal way. There is no better time than the present to seek him by calling out to him in prayer.
(3) Forsake Wickedness – We can’t walk away from God and with God at the same time.
Unrighteousness begins in the thought life of humans. To lavish in God’s springs of living water (the Holy Spirit) we must allow the Spirit to direct our inner life.
(4) Return – We may be in a spiritual desert, because we have walked away from God in pride and disobedience.
God is merciful and will pardon our sins, but we must humbly return to him with our whole heart.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I discuss Isaiah 55 on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy offers many insights that come from his Jewish heritage and years of serious Bible Study.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.