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Isaiah 55

The God who calls

Introduction: Decisions, decisions.

There is really only one option worth taking.

It is not a choice between two or more very good things.

What’s on the menu?

Life in Babylon?

Israel knew comfort (Jeremiah) of a world empire – all the riches of the empire came to the centre. They had a nice life, security. In the heart they are all false comforts the Israelites could see. They had to choose between that or true security and the end of exile.

Their life in Babylon was meant to be temporary, but many took it as a permanent solution (some stayed there forever).

v. 2: This is not true life. God has announced something different – a new purpose for God’s people now. But many are now OF Babylon, as well as IN it.

Free and abundant life.

v. 1: Come get free food. God gives stuff away to those who couldn’t afford it – God is inviting. This menu is free! Not just bread and water (what they would have eaten) – Wine and Milk, the food of luxury!

vv. 3-5: Imagery of promises to David – The hope seen briefly in David’s reign will become a reality. Nations will come to Israel and turn to God.

We face similar menu options today.

How do we get it?

Come, buy.

"Come you who are thirsty and have no money" – Those with nothing to offer.

- No Temple, land or king – central to covenant life with God.

We must recognise our poverty before God.

Forsake.

Turn from sin and FALSE TRUST (v. 2) – committed to a false option.

v. 7: Turn from their whole way of life plans, purposes, intensions…

Return.

Turn to God who offers true life.

v. 6: There is a time to turn to God. This offer won’t last forever (offer to Israel in exile - God’s offer of future release – return to land and covenant promises.

Why should we do that?

God’s way of free pardon

Free offer (vv. 1, 2, 7). Free and abundant forgiveness!!!

No catch, it truly is a free offer! No hidden clause.

God’s dependable word

vv. 8-9: His ways are MUCH higher than ours. We can trust His offer and His dependable word. The offer they have rests only on God’s word.

vv. 10-11L His offer and word are as faithful and dependable as He is. This text speaks of a dependable God.

God’s glorious future

Marvellous character of the word in the glorious future – Look back to David: Israel’s ‘golden age’: This is God’s future for His people (and better).

vv. 12-13: Return in joy. Stunning return. Nature will be transformed – instead of a path through a desert, the scenery and plants will be transformed, great. Nature will be changed.

Conclusions: Decisions, decisions

Our menu choices. Which spruiker will you listen to?

The world seems satisfying. We can’t assume comfort. The world menu all fails and fades. Only God’s word lasts. There is only one sensible choice.

The true scope of this chapter:

The whole of Israel and nature will be transformed. Israel was not righteous after the return from exile – The return from exile if only part of the fulfilment of the promise.

- A down-payment, first-fruits.

- It shows something of the Lord’s character but not all of what YHWH has to offer. The rest is yet to come.

Paul (2Cor. 1:20): All of God’s promises point in some way to Jesus. ‘Amen’ to everything in Jesus.

Exile is about sin – Sin caused it.

Return from exile – The true return is being made right with God and being the right kind of people for God. All of God’s children will have their lives shaped by God. – True in the end in Christ.

God’s offer includes the new covenant offered through Jesus.

ISAIAH 56:

After exile.

Shift from political land base to New World, new bodies, New Jerusalem. Acts 15