God’s Word of Hope
Isaiah 55:1-13: The LORD offers mercy and forgiveness and promises to bring the people out of exile in Babylon. The image of a banquet is used to describe God’s lasting covenant with the people.
God’s Offer of Mercy
1 The Lord says,
“Come, everyone who is thirsty—
here is water!
Come, you that have no money—
buy grain and eat!
Come! Buy wine and milk—
it will cost you nothing!
2 Why spend money on what does not satisfy?
Why spend your wages and still be hungry?
Listen to me and do what I say,
and you will enjoy the best food of all.
3 “Listen now, my people, and come to me;
come to me, and you will have life!
I will make a lasting covenant with you
and give you the blessings I promised to David.
4I made him a leader and commander of nations,
and through him I showed them my power.
5Now you will summon foreign nations;
at one time they did not know you,
but now they will come running to join you!
I, the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel,
will make all this happen;
I will give you honor and glory.”
6Turn to the Lord and pray to him,
now that he is near.
7Let the wicked leave their way of life
and change their way of thinking.
Let them turn to the Lord, our God;
he is merciful and quick to forgive.
8“My thoughts,” says the Lord, “are not like yours,
and my ways are different from yours.
9As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.
10 “My word is like the snow and the rain
that come down from the sky to water the earth.
They make the crops grow
and provide seed for planting and food to eat.
11So also will be the word that I speak—
it will not fail to do what I plan for it;
it will do everything I send it to do.
12“You will leave Babylon with joy;
you will be led out of the city in peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into singing,
and the trees will shout for joy.
13Cypress trees will grow where now there are briers;
myrtle trees will come up in place of thorns.
This will be a sign that will last forever,
a reminder of what I, the Lord, have done.”
Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 55:6
Turn to the LORD and pray to him, now that he is near.
How do you envision the invitation that the LORD offers in today’s reading? What is God’s “word” able to accomplish? Reread verse 8. How are God’s thoughts and ways different from yours?
Lord God, you nurture and sustain me with your life-giving Word. Thank you for your invitation to come to you and receive your blessings of mercy and forgiveness. You are ever near, and your love fills me with joy. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Isaiah 56:1-12: God’s people will include all nations.