THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
Part LXIV: God's Gracious Salvation Of The Gentiles For The Kingdom
A. A charge that often rises about the Christian faith is that its call for people to be saved by faith and not by meritorious works is unique to the New Testament, but that it did not occur in the Old Testament.
B. Isaiah 55:1-13 predicts the salvation of even Gentiles by God's grace apart from human meritorious works of any kind, and we view the passage for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. God's Gracious Salvation Of The Gentiles For The Kingdom, Isaiah 55:1-13.
A. Isaiah 55:1 reflects the practice in Oriental countries where water vendors call out to attract buyers, but here God calls everyone in need of salvation who is athirst for the water of life to come to the waters of His salvation, even he who has no money, Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. III, p. 374. In this case, the invitation is that men buy and ingest even the expensive wine and milk of eternal life without cost.
B. This Isaiah 55:1 call is reflected figuratively in Revelation 22:17 where God calls those who are athirst for the waters of salvation likewise to come and take freely of the water of life found in Jesus Christ. Thus, whether the call is in the Old Testament Oriental cultural setting of Isaiah 55:1 or the New Testament Revelation 22:17 setting, God's salvation is offered as a free gift to the sinner at cost only to the Lord Himself!
C. Indeed, Isaiah 55:2a rhetorically asks people why they spend money for that which is not spiritually satisfying, and then in Isaiah 55:2b, God through Isaiah urges people to partake of His salvation to let their souls delight in the abundant blessings of His new and everlasting life!
D. God promises that those who heed His salvation offer will be given everlasting life akin to the everlasting promises He gave to David in the Davidic Covenant, Isaiah 55:3-4. As God "promised to keep His good hand on David, so He assured those who come to Him that He will never remove His good hand (His blessings) from them. He will always be with them and consider them His people" (Bib. Know. Com., O. T., p. 1110), a promise that includes God's unconditional salvation security that is taught in John 5:24 of the New Testament!
E. Isaiah 55:4-5 speak of the Messiah through Whom this salvation is offered (Ibid.), and indicate that men of all nations who receive God's offer of salvation will run to Messiah for blessing since God has glorified Him!
F. Thus, God directs the world's individuals to seek Him, to call upon Him now that He is waiting to save them, to forsake their evil ways and to come to the Lord to find Him abundantly pardoning them, Isaiah 55:6-7.
G. This salvation, being offered to all men worldwide in God's pure grace, is a salvation that man does not imagine by himself, for God's thoughts and God's ways are as high above man's thoughts and ways as the heavens are high above the earth, Isaiah 55:8-9, Ibid., p. 1111.
H. God's promises of offering eternal life and Messianic Kingdom blessings will not return to Him void, but like the rain and snow that fall and water the earth to make it produce food for man and his benefit, so God's promises will be fulfilled to the rich benefit of those who partake of God's great salvation, Isaiah 55:10-11.
I. In figurative speech, God promised the saved would go out with joy and be led forth with peace, a possible figurative reference to a spiritual exodus out of the bondage to sin and into the liberty of salvation, that the figurative mountains and hills along the way of this journey would not be obstacles to the pilgrims, but that the hills would even figuratively break out in song and the trees of the field figuratively clap their hands in praise to God, Isaiah 55:12 (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. III, p. 384-385). Instead of the thorn of the Adamic Curse (cf. Genesis 3:17-18) that had plagued man since Adam's fall, the myrtle tree, a 30-foot high evergreen yielding berries that can produce a perfume would come up (Z. P. E. B., v. Four, p. 326), making a name for God, an everlasting sign of His great salvation from sin that would not be cut off, Isaiah 55:13.
Lesson: As in the New Testament, God in Old Testament Isaiah 55:1-13 offers salvation to all individuals in the world who merely call upon God for salvation, and receive eternal life freely. That salvation would richly satisfy, providing unconditional salvation security not only of the soul, but providing blessings in the Messianic Kingdom of total victory over the Adamic Curse that had been leveled on man at Adam's fall into sin, cf. Romans 8:18-23.
Application: (1) May we call on the Lord for eternal life by faith in Messiah Jesus and find salvation freely and forever unconditionally given to us, a salvation first of the soul and then of the body in the Kingdom. (2) May we realize that God's salvation in all history is by grace through faith based on the cross of Christ, Romans 3:21-26.