Rooted in Christ

Desperately Searching

Hunger motivates. And vendors abound.

“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isaiah 55:2, NKJV)

Hunger motivates. And vendors abound.

A morning show was being broadcast on the bank of televisions at my local YMCA. I looked up from my treadmill to see a banner featuring the name of a new spiritual fulfillment approach. The author being interviewed was explaining the deep need we all have and touting his approach to satisfy that need. The book was on sale. 

The studio audience and the viewing public were led to yet another offering from the buffet of beliefs. “Come, you who hunger. Come, delight in what is good.” 

People are searching, desperately seeking sustenance and satisfaction of their deepest longings. Those who hunger want food. Those who thirst want drink. From the core of their being they are motivated to meet their need. 

To these God speaks: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1). In His compassion God looks to capture the attention of the parched. But there is no cost, no discount. It’s free. 

God knows how gullible and desperate people are in their need, led astray by the promise of help. So He asks: “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isa. 55:2a). God urges them to take stock of what they are giving themselves over to and to question the claims of those selling it. 

God then urges: “Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance” (Isa. 55:2). God offers not only true sustenance; He offers abundance and delight. We need to lean in to the voice of God. 

And then He invites them not simply to a product or to a program. He invites them to Himself. “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live” (Isa. 55:3). We learn that what is involved is life itself. 

Ultimately, this is a call to Jesus. He is the bread of life. He is the living water. He and the Father offer the Spirit of life. “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37–38). 

Amid the bevy of offerings and the clamor of the vendors of this world let us give ear to the voice of God. And let us bear witness to the Jesus He points us to while it remains the day of salvation, being ready with the closing words of the Bible: “Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). 

Digging Deeper

  1. How do basic needs like thirst and hunger set the stage for the necessity, provision and call of the gospel?
  2. How can our souls find their ongoing hydration in Christ?     

Father, I thank You that You that You have opened my eyes to the cistern of life in Jesus Your Son. The world’s cisterns are broken and cannot hold water. May I hunger for the knowledge of Him and thirst deeply for His love.   

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Scripture quotations marked NKJV are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved. Those marked ESV are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale