The Gospel in Isaiah 55

Command: vs 6-7

Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near; Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

We’re told to seek the Lord “while He may be found” indicating that there is a time when we will no longer be able to. We are to call upon Him “while he is near” because there wont always be a time when He is.


Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. We see that its not just his actions but His thoughts that cause him to be wicked and unrighteous.

Let him “return to the Lord”. At first glance the opening passage might have allowed for the prospect that this was an unbeliever, someone who wasn’t saved, possibly that the opening passage was one of evangelism. But this section prevents that. We see here that this is not an unbeliever resisting God’s call, but rather someone who once had a relationship with God whose way has become wicked and whose thoughts unrighteous. He is being admonished to forsake these things and return to the Lord while the Lord might be found.


Because our God will abundantly pardon and has great compassion for him.


Example of how God works to accomplish His will: vs 8-9

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.


When he starts off the next section with “For” he is tying it to the previous section as if to say “because”. This part about His thoughts not being ours, and His ways not ours is directly connected to the wayward believer is the previous verses. For it was his ways and his thoughts that made him wicked and unrighteous and needed to be forsaken. We are to be Holy as He is Holy and He does not do the things we do and He does not think the thoughts we do because He is Holy. This passage really demonstrates our need for redemption. Because we are so different from our Father. I cannot stop my ways, and if I could it would only lead to a defiling of my thoughts in self-righteousness. I need new thoughts, new desires, a new heart, a new birth.


Second example of how God works: vs 10-11

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


Again, he gives another example, this time from nature. But it in He places the gospel. For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth. The rain and the snow were sources of life in an otherwise dead environment that depended deeply on agriculture. Notice were these sources of life originate, and that they don’t return directly until they have accomplished their purpose. Much like Christ, who came down from heaven to bring life to the otherwise dead landscape on earth.


Making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Now that life has sprouted as a result of Jesus, the Rock who was split in the desert that gave forth the water of life, we have a responsibility here.


Jesus told a parable about a sower, which he states in Matt 13 illustrates those from whom life has sprouted. That new life, purchased by Christ, now has given seed to the sower, which according to Jesus is the gospel (the good news that Christ has come to water the dead earth, who were dead according to their sin).


And bread to the eater. Jesus tells this story in another way in John 6:32-33. He had just multiplied the loaves of bread in a miracle and the Pharisees were claiming that their righteousness came from Moses though the law and that it was Moses who gave them manna from heaven in the wilderness. But Jesus responds, “Truly truly I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.


Just as Isaiah had prophesied in vss 10-11, the rain (water of life that comes down from heaven, which brings forth and sprouts new life. As that new life grows and matures it produces seed which in turn is spread by the sower, but it also produces bread which is used to sustain the sower.


So shall my Word (John 1, the Logos, Jesus the Christ) that goes out from My mouth (it was the Father who provided the manna). My Word shall not return void but shall accomplish that which I purpose (let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless, not my will be thy will be done). And shall succeed in the thing for which I sent Him.


The passage is Isaiah is a perfect summation of many of the parables Jesus taught. How we are in need of a savior. How we are corrupt at our core, even in our very thoughts. How our actions are then played out in reality what was manifested in our minds. And the root of it all is a deadness inside us.


But in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus, the water of life that came down from heaven, the bread of life that sustains those who are born of that water, the embodiment of the seed of the gospel that in turn is spread by the sower.


But the Pharisees didn’t see this. Their thoughts were not God’s thoughts and their ways not God’s ways. Their unwillingness to “seek the Lord while He may be found” and “call upon Him while He was near” lead to the gospel being given to the Gentiles and the fulfillment of Hosea’s prophesy in 2:23. And I will sow her for myself in the land, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, thou art my people; and they shall say, “THOU ART MY GOD”.


God doesn't work the way we would. He doesn't do things according to our ethic, our standard or our timetable. But His will is always accomplished. Thousands of years before birth of Christ, God set in motion events that would foretell the coming of His Son and the redemption of mankind. Every prophesy, every miracle, every suffering had, and has, a place in a much larger story. Thank God, that His ways are not mine and His thoughts not mine.

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