Yahweh invites everyone to seek things of life other than material things. What He offers comes by way of faith in His ability to provide for every need (55:1). The abiding question in Isaiah arises: “Whom do you trust?” (55:2). When a person decides to listen, his or her life will change for the better. The Lord will then affirm His willingness to include them in an “everlasting covenant.” He refers to His covenant with David in Second Samuel 7:8-17, where He promised a ruler on the throne of Israel in perpetuity (55:3). The promised ruler will be a “witness, leader, and commander,” a clear reference to the Servant (55:4). The effect is astounding: The entire political and national landscape of the world will change if Israel comes to trust in Yahweh (55:5).
The greatest blessing a person can receive from the Lord is the first blessing He offers - forgiveness. Israel generally assumed that God had abandoned them whenever they were oppressed. Yet, He is always at hand. He “may be found” at any moment (55:6). Still, Yahweh does not gloss over the sinfulness of those who need Him. They must return in faith to receive His pardon (55:7).
The entire offer and procedure of pardon are of God, whose ways of blessing the faithful are far out of the range of possibility for any person (55:8). God’s actual pardon is on a higher plane than our thoughts of the impossible (55:9). His promise has design, pattern, and purpose behind it, the same as producing a crop has (55:10). His promise takes on the character of the God who sends it: “It will give effect to my purpose, and do that for which I have sent it” (55:11, BBE). It is this word that Israel must hear. God has designed that His promise alone is valid for salvation.
When His word finds acceptance, then even nature itself breaks out in joy (55:12). The well-being (“peace”) of Israel among its people and with other peoples will accompany the exiles back to their homeland. The renewal that Israel will know upon their return will serve as an ongoing reminder, a “memorial,” of how the Lord has delivered His people. Just as earlier covenants had attesting signs, so also does the new and everlasting covenant, and that sign will be a renewed people living in a renewed land (55:13).
Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: email@example.com
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