Come, Listen, Seek and Call - The Invitation is Still Available
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Delivered By
Pastor Ed Dinkins
Delivered On
January 11, 2015
Central Passage
Isaiah 55:1-7
Second Sunday Service

Commentary - Data Source: (by John Piper)


"When you are honest, you know there is a canyon of need and longing on the inside no matter how self-sufficient you look on the outside. And God knows even better than you. He has you in mind when he says, "Why do you spend your money for bread which is no-bread, and labor for dreams that do not satisfy?

So two kinds of people are invited by the Lord: the thirsty who are broke and cannot pay; and the thirsty who think they can pay and work their way to satisfaction.

I think everybody in this room would have to admit to being in one of those two groups if we were honest with ourselves.

2. What Are We Offered?

The answer is given in three steps:

  1. the benefits are pictured for us in verse 1,
  2. the quality and quantity of these benefits are mentioned in verse 2,
  3. and the reality behind the pictures is described in verse 3.

The Benefits

In verse 1 we are offered water, wine, and milk. "Ho every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."

Don't these three beverages correspond to deep needs that every one of us has?

Water corresponds to the need for refreshment. When you are most thirsty and most desperate, most dehydrated, it's water that you want and nothing else. "He leads me beside still waters, he restores [refreshes] my soul." God invites you this morning to receive refreshment, restoration, reviving, a new beginning.

Milk corresponds to the need for ongoing nourishment. When someone is gasping for life, you give them water. But when you want a little baby to grow day after day, you give it milk again and again. God is not just for emergencies and mountain peaks. He is for health in the long haul. He invites you not only to come alive with water, but also to be stable and strong with milk.

Wine corresponds to the need for exhilaration. We want to live and not die. We want to be strong and stable instead of weak and wavering. But that is not all we need in life. No matter how stoic, unemotional, phlegmatic, laid-back, or poker-faced we may seem to others, there is a child inside of every one of us that God made for exhilaration—for shouting and singing and dancing and playing and skipping and running and jumping and laughing.

So what verse 1 says is that God is willing to revive us from the heat of Death Valley with the miracle of his water; and make us strong and healthy and stable with the miracle of his milk; and then give us endless and ever-fresh exhilaration with the miracle of his wine.

The Quality and Quantity of the Benefits

The last part of verse 2 describes the quality and quantity of these benefits of water, milk, and wine. It says, "Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in fatness." The word "good" means that what God offers is top quality; it's the best there is. And the word "fatness" means there is a lot of it (Psalm 65:1136:8). The water is good and it's plentiful. The milk is good and it's plentiful. The wine is good and it's plentiful. The Bible loves to talk about the riches of God's glory and the fullness of joy at his right hand. He gives what is best and it never runs out. "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:14).

The Reality Behind the Imagery

Then in verse 3 God tells us what the reality is behind all this imagery. "Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David."

In verse 1 he said, "Come to the waters . . . come for wine and milk." In verse 3 he explains, "Come to me." God is our living water. God is our nourishing milk. God is our exhilarating wine. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart my portion for ever" (Psalm 73:25–2642:1–263:1–3).

But we can even be more specific. He goes on to say in verse 3 that when we come to him, he makes a covenant with us. What kind of covenant? The same kind of covenant that he made with King David in 2 Samuel 7—a covenant of "steadfast, sure love." This means that when you come to God, he binds himself by an unbreakable oath to pursue you with goodness and mercy all your days right into eternity—with ever-refreshing water, and ever-strengthening milk, and ever-exhilarating wine, forever and ever!"

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