A Covenant of Peace: Isaiah 54, 55 (3)
Pray Psalm 34.17, 18.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Read Isaiah 55.1-3.
1. What “money” or “wages” seem to be in view here?
2. To what does the Lord compare delighting in Him?
Chapter 55 opens the promise of salvation to “everyone” (v. 1). This is the invitation to the new covenant, which extends beyond Israel to all the nations, as we saw in chapter 54.
The Lord and His salvation are likened to refreshing waters and nourishing food (vv. 1, 2). The offer is entirely of grace, “without money and without price”, and it replaces whatever unsatisfying things people have invested their confidence in before this offer (v. 2).
It is important to make two observations about the Lord’s invitation here. First, this is a promise to enter the “everlasting covenant” of God (v. 3), which He originally made with Adam and Eve, which was renewed in various stages up to Isaiah’s day, and would be made altogether new in “the last days.” The substance of that covenant is God Himself and His Word (v. 3). All who come to Him and hear His Word shall be revived in their souls, and discover what is good and satisfying for their lives (vv. 3, 2).
The precondition for coming to this banquet is that people should “thirst” and “hunger” for what God offers. What He offers is life for the soul, which can be found nowhere else than in Him. If we are trying to satisfy the longing of our soul with material goods and pleasing circumstances, we will not come to the Lord to eat and drink of His grace. We must set aside every other false hope – all the idols to which we cling for happiness – and let our souls long for the Lord. He will hear, and He will bring us to Himself and His covenant through the suffering and victory of His anointed Servant, Jesus Christ.
As the people of Judah and Jerusalem prepared to go into captivity in Babylon, they needed to remember that God is their substance, covenant, life, and hope, and they must look continuously to Him for their salvation. The same is true for us.
1. How is God like good and satisfying food and drink?
2. How would you explain the everlasting covenant to an unbelieving friend? Why should your friend seek to enter this covenant?
3. In what sense does your soul “delight” itself in the Lord?
The Lord God, ever compassionate, is ready to bring people to good things, and he promises to give not only good things in the present but also the enjoyment of eternally good things in the hereafter. For he demands nothing other than a ready listener, one who takes in his words and is quick to respond willingly to his voice. Theodore of Heraclea (d. ca. 355 AD), Fragments on Isaiah
Give me grace every day, O Lord, both to hear Your Word and to…
Pray Psalm 34.
Give thanks to God Who hears our prayers, feeds us by His goodness, sends His angels to encamp around us, and gave His Son Who, though not a bone of His body was broken, bore our sins away.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 34.1-3, 8, 9, 18, 19, 20 (Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You!)
I will bless the Lord at all times; I shall praise Him evermore!
My soul makes its boast in Jesus – Him we gladly all adore!
Magnify the Name of Jesus! Let us lift His Name in praise!
Taste and see how good is Jesus; blessed are all who in Him hide.
None shall lack for any blessing who in Christ will e’er confide.
When for help we cry to Jesus, He will save, for He is near.
He delivers us from trouble, for He holds us ever dear.
See the Righteous as He suffers: God will save Him from His pains.
All His bones He keeps through suff’ring, every one, intact remains.
T. M. Moore
Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.
Forward today’s lesson to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on Isaiah. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link for the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Isaiah’s important message.
If you value Scriptorium as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).