As you dig into Isaiah 55 there are a few things you have to keep in mind. Remember Isaiah’s audience. He is writing to the people of God around 700BC . God had given his people land, peace from their enemies. He had given them his law. And yet, God’s people turned their hearts away from him and gave their hearts to the false god’s of other nations. Because the nation had abandoned God, God was bringing judgment.
During Isaiah’s life he saw the northern kingdom collapse spiritually and politically, and as a result they were conquered by the vicious Assyrians. It was only by the mercy of God that Judah was not conquered as well. It is into that spiritual and national disaster that God sends Isaiah to speak for him. God’s message to the southern Kingdom, Judah, is that because of their sin they will be conquered and deported by the Babylonians.
Now, in the second half of Isaiah’s prophecy, we see a picture of Israel and Judah in captivity contemplating their future. They are divided. They are crushed by their sin and disobedience. They have no political, moral, or military hope. And it is then that God begins to speak hope to them, to give them comfort.
- In chapters 40-48 God proclaims that no matter how grim the circumstances, he will deliver his people. We saw that in the first weeks of this series.
- God proclaims that even Israel his servants are entirely incapable of saving themselves, no matter how much they suffer, so God is sending his own Servant Jesus to suffer in their place to rescue them. And we saw that last week in Isaiah 52 & 53
Now pay attention here because you have to follow my logic– both of those “salvations” are important. God rescuing his people from their physical enemies is important. God rescuing his people from their spiritual enemy is hugely important. Jesus rescued us from our sin, and we never want to downplay that. We always want to see how eternity altering that is.
God’s business is rescuing people for his own glory— and that work isn’t done yet. It wasn’t done when Israel returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, and God’s business of rescuing wasn’t done when Jesus saved us from the penalty of our sin. Isaiah 55 shows us that God has more rescuing to do.
It’s a rescue that’s future. It was inaugurated with the resurrection of Jesus, yet we await its culmination.
That’s why the Apostle John borrows Isaiah’s words for the close of his Revelation. Recording a vision of the final destiny of God and man, John sums up all things by saying:
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
The last invitation into Heaven in God’s word is Isaiah 55.
This post is a part 1 of a series from my sermon on Isaiah 55.
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