Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Isaiah 55:1-3

1 “Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the water; and you without silver, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without silver and without cost! 2 Why do you spend silver on what is not food, and your wages on what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and you will enjoy the choicest of foods. 3 Pay attention and come to me; listen, so that you will live. I will make a permanent covenant with you on the basis of the faithful kindnesses of David.

The Original Intent

1) What does it mean to “thirst”? (verse 1)

God, the Almighty Author of the Universe, is passionate about pursuing His created ones in order to reconcile us back to Himself. This mission is fueled by a love so deep we cannot even begin to comprehend it, and He will use every means possible to show us the depth of His love.

To help convey His saving plan of reconciliation, He uses common ideas we are familiar with in order to show us deep spiritual truths. One very common need every human can relate to is thirst. 

In Scripture, God uses what we already know (being physically thirsty) to demonstrate the true need of our hearts (being spiritually thirsty). The idea of being thirsty is used often within the context of Scripture from the Old Testament all the way to Revelation, the last book in the New Testament.

The prophet Isaiah describes a thirsty land (Isaiah 44:3), and Moses recounts a thirsty people (Numbers 20:1-8). In both instances, it was the Lord alone who provided in full for them. The psalmist sings soulfully of how deeply he longed to be quenched by the presence of God. (Psalm 63:1) Jesus encountered the woman at the well who was filling water jugs, and leveraged her physical thirst to point to her deep thirst for the life only God can provide. (John 4:10)

This thirst for God is real, it needs to be recognized by each of us, and, mercifully, Living Water (Christ) exists to quench our thirst to overflowing to all who ask! (Revelation 21:6)

The Everyday Application

1) What does it mean to “thirst”? (verse 1)

Water. Generally, human beings cannot survive without water for more than 3 or 4 days. Tongues stick to the roof of a mouth and just a drop of water becomes the only focus, nothing else matters to the severally dehydrated person.

A PE teacher from high school constantly hounded us to drink more water. She rightly said, “If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” Because the human body is amazingly designed, we can “cover up” our need for water for a while, maybe a sugary soda or a coffee or two, and we end the day deprived of the life-giving water our bodies crave. Over time, our bodies can be trained to work harder to cover the deficit of less water, further covering our real need.

This physical truth reflects a deep, spiritual truth. We can put off our spiritual needs, pretend they don’t really matter (or even exist), or occasionally sprinkle our soul with water from a weekly church gathering, or listening to Christian music. Our souls were meant to be utterly drenched in the living water offered by Christ.

We can’t earn it. We can’t purchase it with good deeds or displays of kindness. We don’t deserve it; not even a drop. Yet, here the invitation stands to “all who thirst”. Yes, that’s every single one of us, because we were intentionally created with thirsty souls.

How will you nourish your soul? Will you allow the Living Water to wash over you again and again, or will you keep living a dehydrated life? Remember, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! Come! Drink of the full life of Christ!

The Original Intent

2) What is that which does not satisfy? (verse 2)

The prophet Isaiah was calling for an awakening revival for Israel. In the previous chapter, Isaiah had prophesied how the Lord God would come and renew Israel, bringing restoration in the wake of their deserved exile and punishment. Israel’s punishment would not last forever because the Lord was tender and compassionate towards them. “For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you.” (Isaiah 54:7)

Isaiah is pointing to the utter futility of Israel’s ways as they pursue rebellion against the God who loves them so immeasurably. They chose to chase after everything they laid their eyes on and lusted after, rather than responding to the call of God. Later, the prophet Haggai would use similar language towards Israel saying, “you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:6)

Both prophets pointed to the complete emptiness resulting from pursuing the temporary happiness of “things”.

The Everyday Application

2) What is that which does not satisfy? (verse 2)

We all know what it’s like to labor hard for something, only to watch it waste away, or even betray us. Maybe it’s as simple as working hard on a document only for your computer to shut down and erase all memory of said writing. Perhaps you’ve invested heavily into a relationship, only to grieve deeply while that person abandons you.

Maybe it’s a stock market crash or an illness that took you by surprise, leaving you debilitated where you once were strong. Perhaps you were once motivated passionately, but when real life hit you hard, you were swept under the current and left limp and lifeless.

The reality of our broken world will always result in eventual emptiness, leaving us feeling as if we’ve put our everything into a “bag with holes in it”. Poet, C.T. Studd said it best, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

The prophet Isaiah awakens us with his invitation to leave the emptiness behind and find the fullness of life that is only available through Jesus Christ. Imagine the difference of living your everyday moments with the promise of eternal fullness in Jesus!

The Original Intent

3) How is hearing connected to a soul granted life and an everlasting covenant? (verse 3)

There are three instructive commands in this passage of Scripture, “come”, “listen carefully”, and “pay attention”. First, the invitation to come is extended freely to all, but there is one limiting condition of finding real life, to be thirsty.

Only those who are thirsty will find satisfaction. Only those who are thirsty will welcome and receive all the benefits of being quenched by the presence of the Lord God. Fullness and satisfaction can be forced on no one. The Lord invites all, but will force none to receive Him. The choice is ours.

The invitation is followed up immediately with the call to action of listening and paying attention. The Lord designed His message to be told and boldly declared in order for it to be heard and received. As Pastor Paul queries in Romans 10:14“And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?” Proverbs 1:20 and 23 also speak of this need to listen with attentiveness in order to gain life, “Wisdom calls aloud in the street….if you respond to my warning, then I will pour out My Spirit upon you.” 

It’s conceivable that someone is thirsty for spiritual things and curious about the things of God, yet still refuse to actually listen to truth and wisdom being poured out for them. They could hear, but not being paying full attention in order to gain understanding. Jesus notes this is the case with the religiously zealous Pharisees of His day when He quotes Isaiah 6:9-10, “they may indeed look, and yet not perceive; they may indeed listen, and yet not understand; otherwise, they might turn back and be forgiven.” (Mark 4:12)

When the thirsty respond to the invitation to come, and when they listen with the desire to understand, they will receive real, abundant life, an everlasting covenant where He will guard our souls for eternity.

The Everyday Application

3) How is hearing connected to a soul granted life and an everlasting covenant? (verse 3)

Where are you in the process of invitation, being thirsty, and listening attentively? Regardless of whether we have surrendered our everything to the lordship of Jesus Christ, or if we are exploring what it means to follow Christ, this same pathway of invitation, thirst, and attentiveness exists.

If you’ve long followed Jesus, His invitation to know Him more deeply stands with the door flung wide every moment of every day. Are you still thirsty for Him, fellow believing sister? Do you long for more of Him? Are you actively listening to His voice? Do you practice learning His voice a little more each day by reading His Word and engaging with Him? His invitation is open!

Not sure about Jesus? Wonder if He is who He claims? Do you have doubts? Feel insufficient in your faith? The Lord’s invitation stands for you, “Come!”. “Come, buy without price!” There is nothing you must do, no part of your life you must “fix” on your own before coming. Christ simply calls out, “Come!”.

Embrace the thirstiness of your soul and the longings for wholeness and healing of  your heart. Listen for the Lord as He speaks life over you!

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