Isaiah 55 contains one the most fluent and extensive invitations of salvation within the Old Testament, if not in all of Scripture. The symbols of the sinner’s need of God’s deliverance from the penalty, power and presence of sin, along with the symbols for the Word of God, found in Isaiah 55 are also frequently found in the New Testament (e.g. John 4; I Peter 2:1-3).
Who are the ones in need of God’s salvation? Isaiah 55:1 says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Those in need of salvation are the ones who are spiritually thirsty and beggar poor (John 4; Matthew 5:1-3).
What is God’ solution to fallen man’s thirst and poverty? Isaiah 55:2-3 says, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.” The promises of the Davidic covenant are now available for everyone.
Who is the source of this salvation? Isaiah 55:4-5 says, “4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, leader and commander for the peoples. 5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.” Salvation from sin’s penalty, power and presence is the Holy One of Israel.
What is the sinner to do in response to this offer of salvation? Isaiah 55:6-7 says, 6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” The ability to seek the LORD is from God (John 6:35-66; Ephesians 2:1-9) so that He receives all the glory and praise.
How necessary is God’s Word in the salvation of the sinner? Isaiah 55:8-11 says, “ 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10: 14-15).
When will salvation from God be full and complete? Isaiah 55:12-13 says, “12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Jesus’ millennial reign and rule will fulfill the words of the prophet (Revelation 20:1-6). Exiled Israel will return from her dispersion rejoicing in her deliverance and unbothered by her enemies. What was true for Israel when it left Egypt, and then Babylon, will be complete in the Millennium. In the Millennial Kingdom, positive changes in nature, including the reverse of the curse (Gen. 3:17), will be an ongoing testimony to the Lord’s redemption of his people (Isa. 44:23; Rom. 8:19–23).
The call from God is for sinners to repent of their sins and trust Jesus Christ, for their righteousness and salvation. He alone saves the sinner from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin.
Soli deo Gloria!