Some thoughts from 10 years ago from this day’s reading in Isaiah. Similar season then, different circumstances (not pandemic related . . . more personal, not global).
It really is a pretty compelling invitation. Spend just a couple of minutes hovering over it, and though you might not strictly be within “the context” of the invite, the Spirit within you testifies that the envelope that carries this request for “the favor of your presence” is addressed with your name on it. Your circumstance isn’t exactly what was originally addressed, but somehow you know that the application to your situation is just as real. And so, there it is . . . one word . . . four letters . . . the Master requests of you, “Come!”
“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.”
(Isaiah 55:1-3 ESV)
In the day, it was an offer to a rebellious people who had known severe discipline for their spiritual adultery. It was an overture to a people who had rejected the living God for goofy graven images made of wood and stone . . . who had learned the hard way that idols don’t deliver. Their judgment had been used as a means to purify them . . . to burn away the confused thinking . . . to point them again to the God of their fathers . . . to set their eyes again upon the One who had called them . . . to ready them for the invitation, “Come!”
What little life-investing currency and resources they had, they had wasted on stuff that didn’t satisfy, but now the offer was before them. Though spiritually bankrupt, they could buy without money . . . they could invest though they had no resource of their own. Available to them was water for the thirsty . . . wine and milk and bread for the famished. The promise was theirs to be appropriated, “Eat what is good . . . delight yourself in the food that satisfies . . . consume without measure that which makes the soul come alive. And be filled by His everlasting covenant . . . a forever feast . . . catered by heaven itself . . . sourced in the steadfast, sure love and compassion of God Himself.”
It doesn’t have to be idolatry . . . there are other things that can distract me . . . other dynamics that cause me to take a detour on “Self Sufficient Highway.” It could be a trial . . . change and uncertainty . . . some hard stuff that’s in the way. Or, it might even be a victory . . . a success . . . a patch of road with no potholes where I think I’m capable of taking the wheel. Either one has the potential to drain my soul’s bank account on attitudes and efforts that leave the Father out of the picture and invest in that which doesn’t satisfy. Precious internal resource wasted on worry . . . or, valuable gifts wasted on self-serving pride . . . neither satisfies . . . both will drain the account. Time to hear the Father’s invitation, “Come!”
For me . . . today . . . it’s the trial. The world’s been rocked a bit . . . thinks aren’t what they were . . . my assumptions about the future have been rattled . . . more questions than answers . . . easier to worry than to pray . . . easier to look out over a cloudy horizon than to look up to my unchanging God. And, by His grace, through these ancient words I hear, “Come. Come and buy of Me.” And I hear too the words of the blessed Son of God, “Come. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 29:11).
Mine is to RSVP . . . to respond in the affirmative . . . to feebly seek to avail myself of the resources of heaven . . . offered freely by the God of grace . . . made available through the blood of His Son . . . infused and made real by the Spirit who indwells.
Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God I come! I come!
Just as I am, tho tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fightings and fears within, without
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!