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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 55: Invitation to a new covenant relationship


v.1,2 Call for reassessment

v.3-5 God offers His covenant of love afresh

v.6,7 Call to seek God and change

v.8-11 Realise His purposes are better than your and will bring blessing

v.12,13 That blessing will be seen joyfully in transformation


[Preliminary notes: The chapter brings a call to Israel, to those who are needy to receive of God [v.1] and to reassess what they do [v.2]. If they come to Him, He will re-establish the covenant of love He had with David [v.3,4] that will cause the nations of the world to come running [v.5]. [?Like the Queen of Sheba – 1 Kings 10]. Their part is to seek the Lord [v.6] and put their lives right [v.7], realising that He is very different from them [v,8,9] and what He does brings real change for good [v.10] that is brought about by His declared commands [v.11] [?Like Gen 1:3]. When they do that they will know peace and great joy [v.12a] and the world will join in the rejoicing [v.12b] and we transformed [v.13].

It should be noted that this is not blessing without condition for the conditions are there in the commands of the prophecy: come – v.1, listen & eat – v.2, listen – v.3, seek the Lord – v.6, forsake wickedness and turn to the Lord – v.7. All of these are specific instructions and the blessings are conditional on Israel responding positively to them.]



v.1,2 Call for reassessment


v.1 Come and receive God's free provision

v.1  ‘Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.

v.2 Don't work for what is worthless but receive from me

v.2  Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.


v.3-5 God offers His covenant of love afresh


v.3 Listen to me and I will re-establish our covenant of love

v.3  Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.

v.4 David was the anchor of this loving commitment

v.4  See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.

v.5 Because of God, other nations will come to you

v.5  Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendour.'



v.6,7 Call to seek God and change


v.6 So seek God while you can

v.6  Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.

v.7 Sort out your lives and come back to God

v.7  Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.



v.8-11 Realise His purposes are better than yours and will bring blessing


v.8 Remember, you think and act differently from Him

v.8  ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,'
declares the Lord.

v.9 His ways and thoughts are much better than yours

v.9  ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

v.10 His purposes [e.g. rain] have impact and effect for good…

v.10  As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

v.11 … expressed through His word to you, to achieve what He wants

v.11  so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    it will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.


v.12,13 That blessing will be seen joyfully in transformation


v.12 Joy & peace will lead you and the world will rejoice

v.12  You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.

v.13 The world will be transformed, ever pointing to God

v.13  Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord's renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure for ever.'


Continue to Chapter 56