No Cost

“Ho! Every one 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.

“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.

“Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

“Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
A leader and commander for the peoples.
“Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,
And a nation which knows you not will run to you,
Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.” (Isaiah 55:1-5)

The Israelites knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing. They had trusted in fantasies that could not save. Although Isaiah began his prophetic message with warnings about the coming judgment, later, he explained that God’s judgment was not the end of the line for them.

A parent might explain to his child that though certain privileges have been taken away, a change in behavior or attitude could lead to their restoration. The child is not left devastated, with no hope or understanding of how to restore the relationship or to get things back to the way they were.

So, God, being the ideal Father, let his people know that the judgment they faced was not the end to their relationship with him. Instead, they have the means to make it even better than it was before. A nation that had lost sight of God, would, thanks to God’s punishment, find him. Following Israel’s seventy year captivity in Babylon, they never again felt a temptation to turn to other gods. From that time on, the Israelites remained faithful to their belief in one, and only one God. God’s commitment to them remained unbroken, however, regardless of their behavior. God had been merciful to David despite his sins. Therefore, God would be merciful to Israel, too.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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