Give ear – pay attention – come to me – hear me. We are reading these opening words of Isaiah Chapter 55 – and these are such simple words in verse 3 – words of one syllable.
Isaiah goes on to speak to the people of Israel - reminding them of who they are and of what almighty God is going to do - and the influence they are about to have.
In verse 6, Isaiah issues a word of command that has blessed thousands over the years. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near.”
We cannot find Jesus Christ, the Son of God, just when we want to – or when we decide.
There comes that moment when Jesus calls - when God draws near - when God speaks - when the Holy Spirit moves.
Our response is - "Come Jesus - save me - rescue me - deal with me - forgive my sins - fill me with the Holy Spirit." There has to be a calling in some shape or form - and that might mean losing your dignity.
In verse 7, Isaiah is so clear and specific - and he spells it out in such detail - "Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.”
There has to be this turning to the Lord - and the response is - HE will have mercy on him – and the man who turns to our God – HE will freely pardon.
The words could not be simpler - the instructions could not be more straightforward. Yet - people struggle with this.
The order is - turn to - and receive mercy and pardon.
Here in Isaiah is the clear notion of repenting – of turning around and beginning to walk in a different direction.
"My thoughts are not your thoughts…." We even have to begin to change the way we think. Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus – we read in Philippians Chapter 2 – and be transformed by the renewing of your mind – which we read in Romans Chapter 12.
Jesus wants to share His thoughts with us - so that we may walk in His ways.
God's thoughts and God's ways are very different from man's – and we come to that point where we have to decide - Which way am I going to go? Whose thoughts, values, are going to govern my life?
Verse 9 - God is not offering us anything mediocre. His ways and thoughts are higher and far better than any of ours.
When God gives rain and snow - they accomplish something. The earth is watered - crops grow - and a harvest results - so is My word that goes out from My mouth - it will not return to me empty.
God has a purpose for the word, which HE speaks today. God wants to accomplish something.
He wants to achieve something, which only His Word can achieve.
Isaiah speaks about what will happen regarding those who respond positively to the word which comes from the mouth of God - You will go out with JOY - you will be led forth in peace.
No – you cannot put your hand in your pocket to buy any of this.
It is all free - to those who seek and call and turn.
The people of Israel were about to be taken off to Babylon – modern day Iraq – for 70 years – but Isaiah speaks of what will happen once that period of exile and imprisonment is over.
Verse 11 - There is a picture of what will happen when these captives are released from Babylon and return to Jerusalem. The trees will respond. Instead of sharp prickly wounding bushes there will grow something very different.
And this will be a sign to the world that the living God is at work.
Loving God – You invite us to come and hear in such simple terms. Take my life – my gifts – my talents – whatever these may be – but when in Your hands and when I seek Your ways – a harvest can appear – at the right time – hear me gracious Father – I pray in Jesus Name.”
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