Isaiah 55:1

Verse of the Day Devotion Isaiah 55:1 

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy, and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.” – Isaiah 55:1 

This verse opens with a call for attention. The Hebrew exclamation hôy, usually indicating a lament, can also be a way of hailing people and is expressed in our translation as meaning “you there”. God, through Isaiah, is calling the people to listen to what He is about to say.  He calls for everyone who is thirsty to come and drink. Thirst here has the idea of intense desire and is thus applied to the sense of want which sinners often have, and to their anxious wishes for salvation. It is not improbable that the Savior had this passage in his mind when he pronounced the blessing on those who desire strongly, righteousness. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6.  No needs are so keen, none demanded, as those of hunger and thirst. They occur daily; and when longing continued, as in the case of those who are shipwrecked and doomed to wander months or years over burning sands with scarcely any drink or food, nothing is more distressing. Hence, the figure is often used to denote any intense desire for anything, and especially an ardent desire for salvation. We also see this picture in Psalms where David said, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2.

And then, He states after this to come and eat and drink.  There is no cost, therefore all can be satisfied.  In this world, those things that are most desired cost the most.  However, in the Kingdom of God, all is free for those who seek God with all their hearts.  There is nothing we should desire more than the salvation God provided through Christ.  And God provided this free of charge for those who will simply accept it.  “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10.   

Then in verse two we read, “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 delight yourself in abundance.” Isaiah 55:2. Too often, people let money take up all their time and strength, and inevitably their life. And they ignore or do not understand what is truly important.  And what is truly important has no earthly cost but is of infinite value, which exceeds those things which can never nourish or satisfy you, such as worldly goods and pleasures. And as John Wesley put it, “Eat ye – That which is truly and solidly, and everlastingly good. In fatness – In this pleasant food of gospel enjoyments.”

This is the message the world needs to hear, and we as Jesus’ disciples are the ones called to tell them. And then, we are to train them how to live this life that is pleasing to God.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20.  Jesus has told His disciples to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples …” ad infinitum. This is what Jesus wants of us.  To help the lost see that what the world has to offer is absolutely insignificant compared to what God has provided by Jesus Christ paying the penalty for us that we could never pay.  And then for these to go out and do the same, ad infinitum.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Psalm 23:2

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Psalm 23:2   

“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” – Psalm 23:2

This verse is basically a continuation of the last part of verse one where it says, “I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1b.  The idea is that the shepherd will provide good green grass to eat and good water from quiet calm streams.  He will not provide fields of grass that is brown and wilting, or to land where little grass is found that is edible because of rocky or hardened soil.  He will also lead us to good water that flows quietly instead of swift waters because swift torrents are inconvenient for watering the sheep, and they are also harmful.

In Ezekiel, we see a very interesting set of verses regarding God’s caring for His people.  “For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest, declares the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 34:11-15.  This is essentially saying the same thing as our focus verse, but with more information.   God is saying He will seek out His sheep.  He will search for all His people wherever they are found.  For He is a shepherd who cares for His flock who is currently scattered throughout the land.  And He will gather them to Himself and feed them in a good pasture with streams of water. And secondly, He will lead them to rest.  He will bring them to a place of peace and rest, just as our focus verse shows.   

David is speaking of the goodness of God to His sheep, His people.  He will ensure that we are fully taken care of, that we will lay down in perfect peace, are fed and without thirst.  We, as His sheep are satisfied and without any unmet need, being a flock, whose desires are met and are resting in complete abundance.  This is how God takes care of His people.  No matter what we may go through, He is always with us, and we must always focus on all His provisions to us, which is beyond understanding.  This is the way it is today, but more importantly; this will be our future for all eternity.  What a beautiful picture of what lies ahead for us.  We will want for nothing, for everything we need and desire will be available to us as His children.  We will rest in peace with Him always near us, and nothing will ever happen to us that will cause us grief.  “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:4.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.