The Word Made Fresh
1Listen! Everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters!
Even if you have no money, come and buy food!
Come, buy wine and milk without money or price.
2Why do you waste your money on things that are not important?
Why do you work for things that bring no satisfaction?
Listen carefully to what I’m saying;
eat what tastes good and enjoy rich foods.
3Open your ears and come to me;
listen, so that you might live.
I will make an eternal agreement with you
based on my unending and steadfast love for David.
4Consider: I made him a witness to the people,
a leader who would command them.
5Understand that you will summon nations you don’t know,
and nations that don’t know you will come to you quickly
because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel
who has glorified you.
6Seek the LORD while you can,
and call on God while God is near;
7Let the wicked turn from their ways
and let the sinners turn from their thoughts.
Let them all return to the LORD
so that the LORD may have mercy on them.
Let them return to our God who will completely pardon them.
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts
and my ways are not your ways, says the LORD.
9Just as the heavens are far above the earth,
so are my ways higher than yours
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
10Just as rain and snow fall from the skies
and don’t return there until the earth is watered
to make it bring forth plants and
provide seeds to the one who sows and gives bread to the hungry,
11even so shall be the word that leaves my lips.
It will not return empty to me
but will result in what I want
and succeed in the purpose for which I sent it.
12You shall go out joyfully and return in peace.
The mountains and hills around you will burst into song
And all the trees in the forest will clap their hands.
13The cypress will grow instead of thorns.
The myrtle will bloom instead of the brier,
and it will be a memorial to the LORD –
an eternal sign that can never be erased.
1-5: The price of redemption having been already paid through the suffering they have had to endure, the coming blessings are given without further cost.
6-9: The invitation is extended to all. Those who have been disobedient have an opportunity to return to the LORD. This is an expression of grace that only God, whose thoughts and ways are beyond understanding, can offer.
10-11: In Genesis 1 God’s words brought about the creation of the universe. God’s word is once again going forth to bring about the restoration of Israel that God is promising through the words of the prophet.
12-13: The promised restoration will engulf not only the people but the land as well. Remember, when Israel entered the Promised Land, they were told that the land’s productivity would rise and fall according to their faithfulness (or faithlessness!) to their covenant with God.
When we feel distant from God, or God from us, we need to trust that the distance is not one imposed by God. God patiently waits for our return to faith. It is never too late to ask for and receive forgiveness and guidance.