"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.Isaiah 55:1(NASB)
In the first section of Isaiah, we find the nation of Israel being told that God is going to judge their enemies, but He is also going to punish His people if they refuse to turn away from their wicked ways and return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Isaiah was one of many prophets who called for Israel to renounce their apostate ways and return to following the Lord in the beauty of holiness, but they refused to see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts. They broke their covenant with God and had to suffer the consequences of their sin.
Throughout Israel's history, there has always been a faithful remnant who stood firm on the Word of God and trusted His plan of salvation, and from chapter 40, we discover words of comfort and droplets of hope, and in chapter 55, the Lord speaks to His people, "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. You who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost."
This was a gracious call from the Lord to His people to come and join in the feast He had prepared for them. It was a beautiful expression of God's grace and an evangelistic invitation to whosoever is thirsty for the truth of the gospel of God to come, and drink deeply of His excellent provision, which is given freely and without cost to all who are spiritually impoverished.
The little remnant of faithful men and women were well aware that the nation of Israel would have to suffer captivity and be dispersed from their homeland, because of the sin of their fathers and the people's continued apostasy. But although the nation had to be punished, God's call to come and buy, and drink milk and wine freely, is to the individual whose heart is right towards the Lord and whose faith is reckoned as righteousness.
Isaiah prophesied earlier that God's chosen people would reject their Messiah and have to face the wrath of God because of their apostasy. The One Who came to save them would be sent as a Lamb to the slaughter and would stand dumb before His accusers... but despite this necessary chastening, these comforting words promised that God's people would one day enjoy pardon and peace, deliverance and prosperity, revival and restoration, and a glorious future hope.
All are invited to come and partake of the living water of life. All are called to drink deeply of its life-giving properties. All is given as a free gift of God's grace. All were summoned to come and buy wine and milk, without money and without cost. By grace and through grace they would be blessed with the living water of life and partake freely of the wine of God's joy. They would be enabled to feed in their heart, by faith, on the milk of God's Word.
The blessings God promised to the remnant of Israel are equally true for us. The call to those that are weary and worn is still being offered today... to men and women, to Jews and Gentiles, to young and old - to whosoever will come. The offer to come and buy wine and milk without money and without cost is just as pertinent today, in the dispensation of grace as it was in the times of Israel.
The Messiah of Israel is also the Saviour of the world and whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. And although we can partake in this gracious offer here and now, the full and final fulfilment of this blessed prophecy is yet future.
The Lord Jesus Himself testifies to this in the final chapter of Revelation, when He announces, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches... I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. The Spirit and the bride say, 'COME!' Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who wishes take the water of life come - Come to Jesus, without money, and without cost."
When the risen Christ returns to earth to set up His kingdom, at the end of the 'Great Tribulation', thirsty souls will be satisfied and the earth will be filled with the glory of God as Jesus comes to tabernacle amongst His people.
But today is the day of salvation for those who eat of the living Bread, whose body was broken for us, and for all who drink of His life-giving blood which was shed as the purchase price for all who believe, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
Heavenly Father, thank You that the precious invitation that was open to Israel to come and drink of the waters of life freely and without cost is still open to thirsty souls in this Church dispensation. Thank You that this promise continues to be open to whosoever will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, both Jew and Gentile. Thank You that I have been baptised into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit of God and that in Him I have free access to the Bread of Life and can drink deeply of the Living Water. Thank You that salvation is given freely to whosoever will COME. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.