“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has 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 diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”
~ Isa 55:1-3, ESV
It’s Always About Love
God’s love is unfailing, gracious, and absolutely amazing. The Bible often refers to God’s steadfast, merciful, loyal lovingkindess (chesed or hesed in Hebrew). The Old Testament uses this word about 250 times, and I believe these verses point to God’s chesed character beautifully. And because I love doing research, I decided to look at the Hebrew translation. Guess what I found? A form of chesed, tucked away in verse three. But, we’ll get to that in a minute.
Because God loves us so deeply, He wants what is best for us. He wants us to draw near to Him, so He invites us to come. A close relationship to God is the only thing that will satisfy our spirits. God offers a rich feast of love, spiritual blessings, and eternal life – a well that waters our thirsty souls, and bread that offers us rich, lasting contentment. He fulfills us spiritually like nothing in the world could ever do.
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” – CS Lewis
The words in Isaiah were directed to the Israelites, offering them the promise of a Savior who would bring reconciliation to God, spiritual fulfillment, and eternal life. As Christians, we know Jesus is the Savior. Yet, I think it would still serve us well to examine our hearts in light of these words spoken before He came to earth.
- Are we coming “to the waters”, knowing we can’t purchase what Christ has already paid for?
- Are we spending (or wasting) time searching for things that can’t satisfy us like Jesus can?
- Are we working for contentment apart from the Lord?
- Are we laboring for what He offers freely?
- Are we trading things of value (our time, our talents, our gifts, etc.) for things that have no real, lasting value simply to find temporary satisfaction? (John Gill called this the “husks which swine eat”.)
- Are we listening diligently to God and coming to Him to feast and be filled?
- Are we thanking God for His new covenant and following Jesus?
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matt 11:28-30
A new covenant was enacted through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. The Father showed his great, merciful lovingkindness for the entire world by sending His very own Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2 and 4:10). I said we’d get to chesed tucked into verse three. Well, God’s new, everlasting covenant is based on His “covenant loyalty” translated in the ESV as His “steadfast… love.” That is the Hebrew word hasde, a form of chesed. This love was demonstrated by Jesus Christ coming into the world to save us, make our burden light, and to fulfill us spiritually with the very bread of life. Unfailing, gracious, absolutely amazing love! Wouldn’t you agree?
So, how are you delighting yourself in the rich food of Jesus? What do you need to give up laboring for?