The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 55 Part 1

Isaiah

We go on to Isaiah 55:1-5

The gospel message has many wonderful aspects to it, one of which is that it is made freely available to us, without cost. Although it is free for us, Messiah paid a very high price, laying down His life and shedding His blood as He purchased salvation for us. Biblically, redemption always involves a payment. G-d fully paid this cost for us. 

v1: Ho: This is a word of emphasis. What is going to be said has great significance and importance, so we need to pay particular attention to what is going to be revealed – i.e the message of salvation. 

  • Thirsts: When we are thirsty it means we have a great desire to drink something liquid. When we drink this liquid, we receive a feeling of great satisfaction as our thirst is quenched. Similarly, when we are in a broken relationship with G-d, being separated from Him (thirsty for His presence) and we experience intimacy with Him it feels good, there is a great satisfaction. 
  • Come: An invitation is given. This word is what we need to do in response to that invitation. 
  • Waters: Water is an important concept in the Scripture. It can refer to life (eternal life) and it can also be used to speak of the concept of blessing – a Kingdom experience. It is only through the gospel that we, as sinful human beings, can experience the Kingdom of G-d. Experiencing that gives us great pleasure and utmost satisfaction.
  • You who have no money: Even those with no money are invited. They can benefit from this. 
  • Buy: We can acquire this without money – all we have to do is respond to it.
  • Eat: Receive it. Our response to the Word of G-d does not require finance but it does require us to respond to it with faith. Our response by faith is foundational for us to be recipients of the gospel. 
  • Wine: In the Scripture this is often used as a synonym for joy, happiness or gladness. 
  • Milk: This speaks about that which is for the sustenance of a newborn child. A baby desires milk. He desires that which sustains his life. 

Note: From a worldly perspective our greatest concern and most basic desire would be the need to sustain our lives (milk). Once this need is met, we would then think about joy and gladness. In the Kingdom there is a totally different emphasis. Through the gospel we first and foremost experience the joy and gladness (the “wine”) and then we speak about that which sustains life. This change in order speaks of a Kingdom emphasis rather than a worldly emphasis. 

  • Without money and without price: This does not have a price attached to it. There is nothing that we can pay. There’s nothing that we can exchange in order to get this.

v2: Bread: Bread is similar to the concept of milk in the Bible. Both speak about what is needed for basic sustenance of life.

  • Your wages for what does not satisfy: What are we working for? What are we trying to acquire? We should not be paying out to or investing in things that do not bring us life. This world has been corrupted by sin. It deceitfully encourages us to get this or that as a means to find satisfaction, but this is in fact a lie. Many people work very diligently. They make many sacrifices, and they acquire things, but these things do not give them lasting satisfaction. These things do not give them joy, peace or contentment.
  • Listen diligently: It is of the utmost significance that we comprehend what G-d is revealing to us. 
  • Good: This is a word that is related to the will of G-d. If we want that which satisfies, that which is truly a source of joy, then we need to partake of that which is truly good – meaning that which is G-d’s will. 

v3: Incline your ear: This is another expression that deals with hearing or listening. This is a phrase that means to turn your ear, position it, so that it is able to hear. Oftentimes this positioning of the ear means a drawing closer to someone in order to hear better. It is a word that demands action – it demands a change in position. 

  • (Cut): This is an idiom. In Hebrew when a covenant between two people is established it does not talk about making a covenant, but it speaks of cutting a covenant. 
  • Everlasting (Kingdom) covenant: The commentators who are believers all agree that this everlasting covenant relates to the gospel message. The gospel message is a message of covenant. On the night that Yeshua was betrayed, He sat down with His disciples, took the cup and told them that it was the cup of the New Covenant, ratified or established through the shedding of His blood – the giving of his life (Matt 26:28). An eternal covenant means that this covenant has eternal implications – what G-d promises is for forever. Jeremiah 32:40 tells us that G-d is the One who will maintain this new, everlasting covenant. Usually when a covenant is made, both parties have an obligation to uphold the terms of the covenantal agreement (this was the case with the Old Covenant – Israel did not hold up their side – Hosea 6:7, this is also the case with a marriage covenant). The New Covenant is different. G-d is the One, according to Jeremiah, who takes it upon Himself to be the maintainer of it – through forgiveness and by no longer remembering our sins or violations (Jer 31:31-34). 
  • The sure mercies (literally: abundant grace) of David: David, the son of Jesse, at this time of Isaiah’s prophecy, is already dead and long gone. Judaism teaches that when the name ‘David’ appears in prophecy, posthumously, it is not referring to David the son of Jesse but is referring to ‘Ben David’ (the Son of David) – Messiah. This phrase is speaking about the abundant grace (written in the plural – therefore speaking of abundance) of Messiah. This grace is the foundation of the New Covenant – the gospel message.

v4: Indeed: Behold. A word of emphasis and a word that reminds us to pay attention. 

  • Him: (The Son of) David – Messiah. 
  • A witness to the people (nations): There is an inclusivity about the gospel. It is not a message for one or two nations. It is a message for all the nations of the world. Messiah is a witness of G-d’s love and mercy for all nations (John 3:16). 
  • Leader (representative): This word could also be translated ‘prince’. It is a word of authority – representation with power. 
  • Commander: This is the same word as the word for commandment. The emphasis here is on the concept of unity (a team or a group of people who are united and working together for a common purpose). Messiah is commanding, and this commanding is for the purpose of unity – so that the will and goodness of G-d can be experienced by all those who are part of this covenant.

v5: You shall call: Israel is going to call (send out an invitation) to a people that do not know – a people who are not a part of them. Israel will invite the nations to partake of the gospel message. 

  • Know: This is a word of relationship. It is the same word which is used in Genesis 4:1 where we are told that Adam knew Eve and she conceived (alluding to a marital covenant). There is going to be a new type of relationship between the (redeemed) people of Israel and the (redeemed) nations. The two different people groups are going to run together (Zech 8:23). Israel is going to finally allow G-d to use them to be a light, a source of revelation, to the nations. 
  • He has glorified you: This glory shows a distinction or a uniqueness. Most scholars see this as meaning that Israel is going to be distinguished by the call that she has to be that light to the Gentiles. This is the purpose for which G-d created her (Isaiah 60:1-7).

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