Today: [Isaiah 55] Go Out with Joy, be Led Forth with Peace. In chapter 55 of Isaiah God speaks to us in the midst of life’s situation, promising to abundantly pardon and show mercy to us. The promise is that He will quench us when we are thirsty and feed us when we are hungry with the resource of His word. We are promised that we can buy without money and attain without price what this word’s currency cannot appropriate. Though many of the circumstances of life we face are brought about by our own sinful tendencies and choices, the mercy of God is available to abundantly pardon us and show us what Isaiah terms as the “sure mercies of David”.
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[Isa 55:1-13 KJV] 1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall 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 people, a leader and commander to the people. 5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and nations [that] knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith 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 cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.
In verse 1 of our chapter the prophet Isaiah calls us to come drink of the waters of salvation without money and without price. Yet at the same to the verse speaks of buying something. What is it that we buy without money and what is the currency of exchange we use? The things that are purchased are wine and milk that we might as verse 2 says “delight ourselves in fatness…” Wine is a metaphor in scripture for the joy of the Lord and milk represent the simple teaching of the word of God. On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out the people who gathered around said that the 120 were filled with new wine. The very first miracle in Cana of Galilee was when Jesus turned the water into wine. There is a difference between the joy of the Lord and the shallow gladness that the world offers us in natural distractions. Paul said in Romans 14:17:
[Rom 14:17 KJV] 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Joy is part of what the kingdom actually IS. The word joy in the above verse is the same word from which we derive “charisma” when speaking of the gifts of the Spirit. How do we purchase this if it does not come with money? In spiritual things FAITH is the currency of the kingdom. When we spend our faith, believing for that which man’s mind cannot comprehend or appreciate we are purchasing for ourselves that which money cannot buy. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We may not see anything in our lives to be joyful about but the joy of the Lord transcends circumstances and causes us to become spiritually buoyant, rising above the troublesome situations that may plague us from time to time to know joy and blissful trust in the midst of whatever life difficulty you are facing at the time.
If faith is the currency of the kingdom, how do we spend it? Verse 3 tells us to come near to God and to hear His words that we might live and enter into the sure mercies of David. What are the sure mercies of David. David walked with God through many failures and difficulties. He made horrible decisions throughout his life with disastrous consequences for himself and those around him. Other kings made much less egregious choices and faded from history in failure and scandal but David’s testimony continued to outshine his failings because of his constant and abiding trust in the mercy and the faithfulness of God. No matter how awful the circumstances before him, he kept looking to God and trusting in God and expecting the mercy and clemency of God to lift him out of the mire of circumstances that his own sin often created and he was never disappointed or forsaken of the Father. In your own life, you may be living with the consequences of sinful choices or tremendous lack of wisdom on your part but the sure mercies of David will find you and lift you out of the difficulty as you continually as David refuse to become despondent or hateful and just trust by faith that God is a merciful God. As you keep you expectations set upon His clemency you will come out of the dark place and know once again the yoke easy and burden light that God’s word promises according to the sure mercies of David.
Verse 6 tells us to seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near. There is a timing to call upon God in times of difficulty. Many times, we wait and hesitate until it is too late. The Spirit of God is grieved when we call upon Him as an option of last resort. When we only pray, and call upon God after we have vainly exhausted every other avenue of deliverance, it can be too late to receive the blessing that God would have promptly released to us had we only called upon Him early in the situation. Remember that Esau in Heb. 12:17 sought for a place of repentance carefully with tears but found it not because he waited too late and the birthright was lost. There is a timing to seeking God and we must condition ourselves to go to God first and foremost that we might receive promptly from His hand.
How do we receive the mercy of God? We know that God is merciful but still we can see many upon whom the mercy of God was not shown. How do we provoke the mercy of God to show up in our lives? Verse 7 tells us that the mercy of God will abundantly pardon us for our willfulness when we forsake our way and our natural thoughts and return to the Lord. Forsaking our way involves not taking matters into our own hands but choosing rather to wait prayerfully upon God when our flesh would rather force our own solutions in difficult situations. Stay faithful to God. In your thought life, you may be struggling to see where God is acting in your behalf but you must forsake your own thoughts in favor of reliance upon God’s faithfulness and His word. God’s abundant pardon is available even to set you free from circumstances you have made much more difficult because of sinful choice. God never points the finger and says I told you so. He simply shows up in our lives when we humble ourselves, cease from our own labors and trust in Him.
Verse 11 tells us that God’s word never returns void. Like seed planted by the sower into the earth the word of God when given back to God in prayer will produce in our lives and bear fruit unto righteousness. Here is the secret of prayer: what does the word of God say about our situation? There are many promises in God’s word – when we lay hold on those promises and turn them back to God in prayer then we are praying out His will that it might be done in our situation. Remember to pray the solution not the problem. We don’t have to tell God how dark it is. When we pray we are returning God’s word back to Him in our petition. He said it. We are asking Him to do it. God communicates His promise to us through His word. We return His word back to Him in prayer and He accomplishes His word, bringing it about in our lives in the form of answered prayer.
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