Isaiah 55

1 “Hey! Come, everyone who thirsts, to the waters! Come, he who has no money, buy, and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which doesn’t satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in richness. 3 Turn your ear, and come to me. Hear, and your soul will live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples. 5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you don’t know; and a nation that didn’t know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you.” 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found. Call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain comes down and the snow from the sky, and doesn’t return there, but waters the earth, and makes it grow and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 so is my word that goes out of my mouth: it will not return to me void, but it will accomplish that which I please, and it will prosper in the thing I sent it to do. 12 For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace. The mountains and the hills will break out before you into singing; and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn the cypress tree will come up; and instead of the brier the myrtle tree will come up: and it will make a name for the LORD, for an everlasting sign that will not be cut off.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-5

All are welcome to the blessings of salvation, to whom those blessings are welcome. In Christ there is enough for all, and enough for each. Those satisfied with the world, that see no need of Christ, do not thirst. They are in no uneasiness about their souls: but where God gives grace, he gives a thirst after it; and where he has given a thirst after it, he will give it. Come to Christ, for he is the Fountain opened, he is the Rock smitten. Come to holy ordinances, to the streams that make glad the city of our God. Come to the healing waters, come to the living waters, Rev. 22:17. Our Saviour referred to this, John 7:37. Come, and buy; make it your own by application of the grace of the gospel to yourselves. Come, and eat; make it still more your own, and enjoy it. The world comes short of our expectations; we promise ourselves, at least, water in it, and we are disappointed; but Christ outdoes our expectations. We come to him, and we find wine and milk. The gifts offered to us are such as no price can be set upon. The things offered are already paid for; for Christ purchased them at the full price of his own blood, I Pet. 1:19. Our wants are beyond number, and we have nothing to supply them; if Christ and heaven are ours, we see ourselves for ever indebted to free grace. Hearken diligently; let the proud heart stoop; not only come, but accept God’s offers. All the wealth and pleasure in the world, will not yield solid comfort and content to the soul. They do not satisfy even the appetites of the body; for all is vanity and vexation. Let the disappointments we meet with in the world, help to drive us to Christ, and to seek for satisfaction in him only. Then, and not before, we shall find rest for our souls. Hear, and your soul shall live. On what easy terms is happiness offered us! By the sure mercies of David, we are to understand the Messiah. All his mercies are covenant mercies; they are purchased by him, they are promised in him, and out of his hand they are dispensed to us. We know not how to find the way to the waters, but Christ is given to be a Leader, a Commander, to show us what to do, and enable us to do it. Our business is to obey him, and follow him. And there is no coming to the Father but by him. He is the Holy One of Israel, true to his promises; and he has promised to glorify Christ, by giving him the heathen for his inheritance.

Verses 6-13

Here is a gracious offer of pardon, and peace, and of all happiness. It shall not be in vain to seek God, now his word is calling to us, and his Spirit is striving with us. But there is a day coming when he will not be found. There may come such a time in this life; it is certain that at death and judgment the door will be shut. There must be not only a change of the way, but a change of the mind. We must alter our judgments about persons and things. It is not enough to break off from evil practices, we must strive against evil thoughts. To repent is to return to our Lord, against whom we have rebelled. If we do so, God will multiply to pardon, as we have multiplied to offend. But let none trifle with this plenteous mercy, or use it as an occasion to sin. Men’s thoughts concerning sin, Christ, and holiness, concerning this world and the other, vastly differ from God’s; but in nothing more than in the matter of pardon. We forgive, and cannot forget; but when God forgives sin, he remembers it no more. The power of his word in the kingdoms of providence and grace, is as certain as in that of nature. Sacred truth produces a spiritual change in the mind of men, which neither rain nor snow can make on the earth. It shall not return to the Lord without producing important effects. If we take a special view of the church, we shall find what great things God has done, and will do for it. The Jews shall come to their own land; this shall represent the blessings promised. Gospel grace will make a great change in men. Delivered from the wrath to come, the converted sinner finds peace in his conscience; and love constrains him to devote himself to the service of his Redeemer. Instead of being profane, contentious, selfish, or sensual, behold him patient, humble, kind, and peaceable. The hope of helping in such a work should urge us to spread the gospel of salvation. And do thou help us, O Spirit of all truth, to have such views of the fulness, freeness, and greatness of the rich mercy in Christ, as may remove from us all narrow views of sovereign grace.

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