Come To The Water!

Isaiah 55 begins with an invitation for those who are thirsty to come to the waters and for those who have no money to come, buy, and eat.

It’s as if it’s an invitation to return to the time when YHVH’s people had entered the wilderness but without all of the negative aspects of the wilderness.  When they were thirsty, Moses struck the rock and water poured out.  Can you imagine enough water to quench the thirst of a multitude?  They had been grumbling and testing YHVH.  They said, “Give us water to drink” because they were afraid they were going to die.  They were also hungry and YHVH gave them manna to eat.  It was a time of learning to depend on YHVH for their every need.  This is the place YHVH wants us to be.

Waterfalls on RocksThe water and manna met their human physical needs but they had a spiritual hunger that needed to be satisfied so they would live and not die.  This need could not have been met by the plethora of Egyptian gods. First Corinthians 10:4 says they drank from a Spirit-sent Rock and that Rock was the Messiah.  The manna that came down from heaven was Yeshua. In John 6:33, He said, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  The goal here for water and bread is to give spiritual life.

So, in addition to physical water, wine, and milk, spiritual life is what they were truly being invited to come and partake of.

Isaiah 55:2 asks, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?”  This is a good question, not just for the people living at this time but also for our time.  Think about how much money you spend each month on non-essential items.  What about the wide variety of entertainment related purchases you make each month?  Do they really satisfy your soul?

YHVH says, “Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me.  Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you — The sure mercies of David.”

What is good to eat?  Is it what is clean?  Is it spiritual food as opposed to physical food?   YHVH is telling His people to draw near to the Word of God, listen to it, and do what it says so they will live.  Like David, the Messiah was given as a witness to the people and as a leader and commander for the people.  The everlasting covenant is with Him.

What Gentile nation will Israel call upon?  We aren’t told. All we know is that it is one they did not know.  In addition, other nations will run to Israel because of YHVH, the Holy One of Israel.  It seems as if people from other nations will come to Israel because of their relationship with YHVH.  At first glance, we may think that has been fulfilled in the form of tourism.  Somehow I don’t think that is exactly what YHVH had in mind.  I think it is more in terms of coming to live in Israel in unity and to serve YHVH together.  The believing Jews and Gentiles will want to build relationships with each other.  Even when we love Messiah with our whole hearts, we are still made for relationship with others.   Relationships need to be built with others who share a common love for YHVH and desire to obey His word.  It is a painful thing to serve the Lord in isolation.  Great joy comes to us when we worship YHVH together in our assemblies.

Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.”  In Matthew 6:31-33, Yeshua said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  YHVH knows we have physical needs but seeking YHVH should take first place in our lives.  Let’s seek YHVH first and trust Him to provide for our physical needs while He is near and while He can still be found.

Part of seeking YHVH requires us to forsake lawless behavior and our unrighteous thoughts because they hinder the seeking process. If we truly want to seek and find YHVH, we can’t keep practicing the ways of the world.  That is not evidence of our desire to love Him and know Him intimately.  YHVH desires for everyone to return to Him and His ways. He will have mercy on those who come to Him and pardon them.

Since we’ve been raised in the world, we tend to think like the world.  I’ve been amazed over the past several years how politicians, special interest groups, schools, and the media have molded and shaped the thoughts of people.   These thoughts are not the same as YHVH’s thoughts.  Our ways are not His ways.   They are far from it.  We are accused of hate crimes when we speak for righteousness.  We can’t even stand in silence in the face of immorality because our silence is understood by the world to be against the ways of the world.  Therefore even our thoughts are crimes.  What are we going to do?  Personally, I feel helpless just thinking about it but I know that YHVH is still on His throne and that I must stand united with Him and unite my thoughts with His.   I know that despite what the world thinks, YHVH’s plans will take place.

Isaiah 55:10 mentions the results of the water cycle.  We understand how it impacts the growth of vegetation on the earth and how we benefit from that.  In the same manner, YHVH’s speaks words that do not return void.  They go through a cycle and eventually accomplish their purposes.  Creation took place by the word of God.  But YHVH’s word didn’t just accomplish creation; it also carries out YHVH’s desires in the lives of men, women, and children so they prosper.  In addition, everything YHVH spoke through the prophets will come to pass at the appointed time.  We just don’t know the exact timing of it all.

YHVH has promised, “For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the Lord for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

This will be a beautiful thing that will surely come to pass at the appointed time.


YHVH’s Mercy and Covenant of Peace

Isaiah 54:1 says, “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.”

Initially, the first part of this verse brings thoughts of all the barren women of the Scriptures who longed for children until finally gave birth.  Even having one biological child brought them great joy.

Usually, when people read Isaiah 54:1, they think of what Paul said in Galatians 4.  Here, Isaiah 54:1 is a reference to Jerusalem.  The Jewish New Testament Commentary says this about Galatians 4:24:

“Most of Jewish midrashic literature brings out ethical and devotional aspects of the Bible, sometimes drawing out and applying what is manifestly there, and sometimes imposing meanings on the texts, although the norm in Judaism is not to make a midrash that violates the p’shat (simple sense) of the text (see Mt 2:15 N). Here Sha’ul goes beyond the p’shat of the Genesis texts, though without violating them. His application of them is bold and shocking; for although the Judaizers can claim physical descent from Sarah, Sha’ul calls them spiritual descendants of Hagar.”[i] They are more numerous than disciples of Yeshua.

Clearly, this was not the original intent of Isaiah 54:1 but it can be applied here in Galatians.  So what was the original intent of Isaiah 54:1?  In Jerusalem’s desolate condition, those wives who had not had children should sing because they are going to have children.  They will have to expand the size of their tents to accommodate more children than those we might call the wives of other gods (idolators).  Isaiah 54: 2 confirms this idea of expanding the size of their tents and even says their descendants will be so numerous they will possess the nations and inhabit the desolated cities. Just think, this has been fulfilled because even now there are Jews living throughout the world.

Before this could possibly happen, Judah had to endure the discipline of her husband, YHVH; He is the Maker of all things, Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name.  If there was ever a doubt that YHVH was married to Judah, Isaiah 54:5 says He is her husband.  The Holy One of Isra’el is her Redeemer. He will be called the God of all the earth.

After the Babylonian captivity, YHVH called Judah back like a wife who had been abandoned and grief-stricken.  He did not completely reject her.  For a short time YHVH abandoned Judah but He took her back with great compassion.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the sins of your youth.  Do they bring you feelings of great shame and humiliation?  Mine do.  I often wonder how I could’ve sinned so horribly.  YHVH didn’t want to put His people to shame or for them to be humiliated any longer.  He wanted Judah to forget the shame of her youth and the time of her reproach.  He called her back as if she were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit.  The same applies to us today.   When we choose to serve YHVH, we need to put the past behind us and allow YHVH to calm our spirits.  Since He has forgiven us, we must also forgive ourselves.  We must come to Him in the state we are in, study His Word so it can cleanse us, and begin living a life of obedience.

Because of Judah’s sin, YHVH was angry for a moment and hid His face from her.  This is consistent with Isaiah 59:2: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”  The Father did the same to Yeshua when He was dying on the cross.  When the sin of mankind was on Him, the Father did not abandon Yeshua; the Father merely hid His face from Yeshua. In compassion, the Father raised Yeshua from the dead.

YHVH, Judah’s Redeemer promised to show her everlasting kindness or mercy (Hebrew = chesed; Greek = hileos) and compassion.” In verses 9-10, YHVH says:  “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. 10 For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, “Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”

The waters of Noah were so severe they covered the whole earth.  We’ve had floods since that time but none have come close to the one Noah experienced.  Much has happened to Judah over the millennial.  Some of it was downright evil but YHVH’s mercy and covenant of peace have not been removed.  His mercy will endure and the covenant of peace will see its complete fulfillment in the future.

YHVH has promised to set Judah’s stones in the finest way.  He will lay her foundations with sapphires, make her windows shine with rubies, her gates with garnet, and her walls with gemstones. This is a description of the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:18-21 describes it this way:  “The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

All of Judah’s children will be taught by YHVH; they will have great peace. YHVH will establish Judah in righteousness far away from oppression and ruin.   There will be nothing to fear because any threat or alliance will be destroyed.

At some point, the prophecy of Asaf found in Psalm 83 will fully come to pass.  The plan of Israel’s enemies is to cut YHVH’s people off from being a nation so that the name of Israel will not be remembered any more.  Rumblings of it are already taking place.  Surely, YHVH will fulfill Asaf’s request.

Revelation 20:7-10 is another prophecy of the future:  “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” What could be better than that?

Isaiah 54:16 tells us YHVH created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire and makes an instrument for his work.  He makes weapons and other things for ordinary purposes.  YHVH even created the spoiler to destroy and corrupt things.  Certainly, this is a reference to Satan.  I don’t know exactly why He did this other than the fact that He serves this purpose.  I do know that YHVH said, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.”

When I consider the evil that takes place in this world, it seems as if evil often prospers and wins; in addition, false witnesses bring down the righteous despite the truth.  Perhaps this prophecy speaks of what will happen in the last days.  I know that Yeshua will destroy Israel’s enemies with the sword that comes out of His mouth.  Their weapons will be useless against Him.

Revelation 20:4 tells us: “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”

Isaiah 54:17b gives us a great conclusion:  “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.”

[i] Jewish New Testament Commentary, Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.