May 12, 2019
A new outlook in the prophecy of Isaiah comes about because of the announcement of the Servant. After chapters 52 and 53, we find God promises those who put their faith in the Messiah, receive everlasting life that is full of joy and peace.
In this chapter, God promises those who put their faith in Jesus Christ will have a satisfied soul.
The soul is the essence of a person. It is everything about us, our physical body, personality, intellect, and spirit. To have a satisfied soul is to be completely satisfied. When our soul is satisfied, we are never hungry or thirsty. A satisfied soul never is floundering or lacking purpose in life. We find all the answers we seek. We have well-being. We are never disappointed.
A satisfied soul is not one who is happy with riches but is content in all things, even poverty. A satisfied soul doesn’t need the latest technology. A satisfied soul doesn’t need drugs or alcohol to escape the hardship of life. A satisfied soul can be struck with disease leading to death, but they face death knowing that dying is gain. A satisfied soul knows that they are right before God and they are forgiven of all their sins and failures. A satisfied soul has no shame and guilt, only hope.
Are we able to imagine having a completely satisfied soul? Imagine someone on the street coming up to us and presenting such an offer. They say, “Do you desire to be completely happy? Do you hunger, thirst, or desire fulfillment? Are all your needs met? Do you want peace in your heart? Do you want a purpose in life? Do you desire to have a future filled with hope and promise?” Isaiah is a prophet born 700 years before Jesus, who calls out and invites us to find satisfaction for our soul.
Let’s hear what Isaiah proclaims.
Hear God’s offer
Isaiah says to listen. We need to hear God’s offer. He uses words to grab our attention. He is calling out like a carnival barker, street vendor, and a television marketing spokesperson all wrapped up in one. We ought to listen to Isaiah because he is speaking for God, the Creator of the universe.
Hear God’s offer is free (Isaiah 55:1)
Isaiah’s cries out, “Ho!” He urgently grabs our attention. We can’t walk by and ignore him. His voice rises above the other noise and chaos.
He calls out, “Are you thirsty? God offers a drink. Come, and drink what God offers.”
Do you not have money? That’s okay. What God offers is free. It is available without money. It has no cost. Come and take from God and eat and drink and find fulfillment in the food God offers for your hungry and thirsty soul.
Isaiah uses poetic means to express the offer of God. Everyone needs to eat and drink. God’s offer is for everyone. The call is given to people who don’t have the resources. They don’t have money. But, Isaiah says it is okay. God recognizes we are poor.
What God offers is for sale, but the price is already paid. Jesus paid the price with His blood. Every necessity of life is free for the taking. All that is needed is a willingness to say; I want to make that purchase. I want Jesus who is the bread of life. I want Jesus who is the living water.
Hear God’s offer is abundantly satisfying (Isaiah 55:2-3)
Isaiah wants us to think about our lives and how we are trying to satisfy our soul, but not finding any success.
“Why do you spend money and your hard-earned wages for what is not bread, and for what does not satisfy?”
In other words, how is the way you are trying to satisfy your soul working out for you? Is that career you are chasing, is that satisfying your soul? Does the house you live in or the car you are driving give you peace in your heart? When you buy that movie ticket or watch that television show, does it remove your guilt and shame? Is chasing the American Dream satisfying your soul? Is Facebook giving you peace in your heart? Do video games? Restaurants?
God knows the ways we seek fulfillment in life is not working. Our soul is not completely satisfied. So, he tells us, “Listen carefully to God, and eat what is good. Delight yourself (your soul) in abundance of good that never needs to be replenished.
God’s word is creating a contrast between receiving for free everything we need compared to working and getting nothing valuable. Laboring to satisfy our soul only leads to death. God is telling us we need to cease from our futile efforts and receive His gift of salvation which leads to life and abundant satisfaction.
The essential ingredient for a satisfied soul is to listen to God and to stop listening to the lies of this world. God says, “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live (your soul may live).”
God wants to make an everlasting covenant with us. He wants to make an agreement. The agreement is unlike anything we may make in this world. The covenant God wants to make is one that finds its basis in mercy. God desires to show mercy upon our condition. He sees our need, and He desires to meet our every need.
God references the covenant He made with David. The agreement God makes with David is that God will put a King on David’s throne. That King will lead us and give us everything we need for life. The King is the Prince of Peace who protects us and keeps us safe. He is the Great Physician.
Jesus is the King. Jesus is the lover of our soul. Our soul doesn’t desire things. Things will never satisfy our soul. Our soul needs a person. Jesus is the person our soul seeks.
Hear that God’s offer is in Christ (Isaiah 55:4-5)
God tells us that His offer is available through Jesus Christ.
Behold. Observe. Look at the ministry of the King on David’s throne. God makes the King on David’s throne a witness. A witness gives testimony. Jesus’ testimony is that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus testifies that He offers eternal life. He can make our joy full. Satan seeks to deceive and lead us to our destruction. Jesus promises the truth and that He leads us to life in abundance (John 10:10).
Jesus is a leader. He calls us to follow Him. He is leading people to God the Father. Nobody can go to God unless they follow Jesus (John 14:6).
Jesus is a Commander for the peoples. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Those who follow Jesus also need to obey His commands. Jesus says His followers obey His commands.
Jesus’ commands are simple. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And, love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus is the Commander who gives the commands. When we obey His commands, we live.
Do you behold Jesus? Do you see and observe?
Again we are told to behold. Observe.
When we receive God’s offer, we will the nations to Jesus. People that we don’t know and people who don’t know us will run to the gospel of Jesus. We repeat Isaiah’s words and tell others God offers to satisfy the soul. God glorifies those who glorify Jesus. God will exalt those who speak the Gospel. He wants the Gospel to be heard.
Do you hear the voice of the Holy One of Israel? Do you hear the all-powerful, Sovereign Lord, revealing His offer? The offer God makes is made with the authority and power needed to carry it out and make it happen. Hear the voice of the Lord God.
Respond in faith and Repentance to God’s offer
We hear Isaiah speak for God. Our ears are listening. How do we buy this free bread? How do we receive this offer that promises to satisfy our soul? Isaiah reveals to us how we may participate.
Respond by believing that God is near (Isaiah 55:6)
First, we must seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near.
God becomes very near. He becomes one of us. He becomes a man and His name is Jesus. Jesus says to seek, and we will find. Knock, and it will be opened.
The Bible says that all who call upon the Lord will be saved. We need to call out to God believing He will respond. We need to say, I desire to follow Jesus and receive eternal life. I desire to find satisfaction for my soul, and I believe Jesus is the only way. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I don’t deserve such a great offer, but I receive it in faith.
God will not always make Himself available. We need to call upon Him while He is near. If you have never sought God or called upon Him, don’t hesitate. The Bible says today is the day of salvation. The time of God’s offer to have our soul satisfied has an expiration date. Call upon God today.
Respond believing that repentance brings pardon (Isaiah 55:7)
As we call out to be saved, we need to turn from wickedness. We must repent. To repent is to change our mind. It is to go in a new direction.
We are to leave behind our rebellion against God. We are to put aside thoughts of selfishness and pride. We are to stop showing malice and violence. Cease from our lustful thoughts. Biblical repenting is not a one-time event, but a continual lifestyle.
If we are to follow Jesus as our Leader and Commander, we need to be willing to stop doing things our way and start doing things God’s way. Our thoughts and our ways are not holy.
When we continue in our rebellion, we are continuing to try and be in control of our life. When we don’t submit to God, we are like a rebellious two-year-old with our arms crossed and our face in a fit. God looks at our heart, and He knows if we are truly seeking His ways. We can’t fool God. We may not seek our way and God’s way at the same time. God says it is one or the other, but not both.
Five Reasons to Respond to His free Offer
God’s offer sounds good. We desire a satisfied soul. The offer sits before us, and we may accept or reject it. The choice is ours. Lest we walk away without giving the offer enough thought, God continues by telling us why we need to respond to His offer. Each reason to respond is preceded by the word, “for.” We have five reasons to respond.
1) Respond because repentance brings pardon (Isaiah 55:7)
We need to respond in faith and repentance to God’s offer because we need to be pardoned. Our soul is in danger of judgment. We face eternal condemnation because we have disobeyed God. We are guilty, and we need pardon. God says that if we put our faith in Christ and call out for salvation and we are willing to repent of our sin, God offers pardon in abundance. Our soul needs pardon for our sin. Our soul will never be fully satisfied as long as we carry about the guilt of being a sinner before God. God promises that our soul will perish unless our sins are forgiven. Respond to God’s offer and receive pardon for sin.
2) Respond because our ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8)
Before talking about this verse, we need to recognize that it is often misused (as I have done in the past). People often use this verse to describe God as mysterious and of a much higher wisdom.
There are verses in Scripture that support the truth that God works in mysterious ways. It is true that we don’t always understand God’s purpose and plan. However, this verse is not about God being mysterious.
The second reason we need to respond with repentance is that our thinking and our way of doing things are not working out for us. We need to repent of our thoughts and ways if we ever want to have a satisfied soul. Unless we realize the way we think and act is not like God, we will not see the need to change.
Our thoughts often involve deceit, lust, darkness, and evil whereas God’s thoughts are always the truth, pure, light, and good.
Our ways are often selfish, harmful, and hateful. Whereas, God’s ways are always giving, helpful, and loving.
God’s thoughts are different. The pattern of His behavior is different. God is giving us direction for repenting. If we are to repent and change, we need to recognize that our thoughts and our ways need to change.
God’s ways are attainable. God wants us to put aside our thought and ways and replace them with His thoughts and ways. To persist in thinking and to act our way, and not God’s way is not repentance.
3) Respond because God’s thoughts and ways are superior (Isaiah 55:8)
God’s ways and thoughts are superior. God’s ways are heavenly, and ours are earthly. We think with earthly minds and live in earthly ways. God says to put aside our earthly thoughts and ways and replace them with His heavenly thoughts and ways. They are right and good. They will bring us the satisfaction we desire. His thoughts and ways are superior.
But, if His ways are so high, how do we know how to live according to God’s ways? All we have are earthly instruction books. If only there were a book containing everything we need to know regarding how to think as God wants us to think and how to live as God wants us to live! Of course, we know that there is such a book. The book is the Holy Bible.
4) Respond because God’s ways and thoughts are successful (Isaiah 55:10-11)
If we use His word as a guide, we will have success.
He gives us an illustration. Rain and snow come down heaven. As they do, they bring forth fruit from the earth. The water hits the seed and brings about a successful harvest giving us bread to eat.
The rain comes from heaven to earth, and it is useful. In the same way, God’s Word comes down from heaven. God makes His word from heaven available just as He makes rain from heaven available.
In the same way, that rain from heaven produces successful change and brings forth fruit; God’s word brings forth what God wants it to accomplish. God speaks from heaven. His word goes forth and is effective. It accomplishes what God desires for it to accomplish. And, God’s word is always successful. It never fails.
God speaks and creates everything we see (and don’t see).
God speaks, and armies march, angels serve, flowers grow, and planets spin.
God speaks, and history unfolds according to His plan.
God’s word is the most powerful thing in the universe.
Therefore; we need to trust God’s word in our lives and believe that it can satisfy our soul.
The Bible is filled with accolades for God’s Word as being able to satisfy our soul.
Psalm 19 tells us that God’s word makes wise the simple. It rejoices the heart. It is pure and enlightens our eyes. The Word of God warns us of good and evil. It instructs us that in keeping God’s command, there is great reward. The psalmist tells us that God’s word restores our soul. (Psalm 19:7-11)
God inspires scripture. It comes from heaven. It is profitable. It teaches us, scolds us, sets us on the right path, and it trains us in righteousness. The Bible makes it so that we have all we need and that we are equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
5) Respond because God promises glorious results (Isaiah 55:12-13)
Isaiah closes the chapter with the prophecy of the end of the age. As is the pattern in his book, all of creation rejoices at the revealing of the children of God in their glory.
Our Commander and Leader brings us forth in joy and leads us into eternal peace. All of God’s creation breaks forth in rejoicing, for creation is unshackled from the curse it is under since the fall in the Garden of Eden.
Part of the curse is that the ground will yield thorn bushes. God replaces the thorns with trees of magnificent beauty and fruit. Myrtle trees are given as an example because they are goodly to look at, give off a sweet smell, they are evergreen, they flourish, and they bring forth good fruit.
The satisfaction of our soul is promised to be complete and everlasting. At God’s right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Is your soul satisfied?
Is your soul satisfied? Would you like it to be? God offers satisfaction for our soul that is free. He promises it to be complete and abundant. God promises that our soul will live.
Nobody else is offering us such a rich and abundant enjoyment where our mind, body, heart, and spirit find complete enrichment. God can make good on His promise. God never lies. He is faithful. He knows our soul better than we do for He created it. Jesus loves us enough to die for us. If someone offers to satisfy our soul, ask them, when did you die for me?
If you have received God’s offer, enjoy knowing that God is not a liar. All of His promises find complete fulfillment in Jesus Christ. You will not be disappointed.
If you have not received God’s offer, follow the instruction of God’s word. Call upon the Lord while He is near. Repent of your thoughts and ways and replace them with the soul-satisfying thoughts and ways of God. You will not be disappointed.