Isa 55:1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Isa 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Isa 55:3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

Isa 55:4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.

Isa 55:5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Seek the Lord – ‘Two men please God – who serves him will all his heart because he knows him; who seeks him with all his heart because he knows him not.’ (Panin)

Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Let the wicked forsake his way – ‘Observe, before pardon can be sealed, he must forsake not this sin or that, but the whole law of sin. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way.’ A traveller may step from one path to another, and still go on the same way, leave a dirty, deep, rugged path, for one more smooth and even; so many finding some gross sins uneasy, and too toilsome to their awakened consciences, stop into a more cleanly path of civility; but alas! poor creatures, all they get is to go a little more easily and cleanly to hell, than their beastly neighbours.’ (William Gurnall)

He will freely pardon – ‘In agonies of conscience that arise from the greatness of thy sins, fly for refuge into the almighty power of God. Truly, sirs, when a man’s sins are displayed in all their bloody colours, and spread forth in their killing aggravations, and the eye of conscience awakened to behold them through the multiplying or magnifying glass of a temptation, they must needs surprise the creature with horror and amazement, till the soul can say with the prophet, for all this huge host, ‘There is yet more with me than against me.’ One Almighty is more than many mighties. All these mighty sins and devils make not any almighty sin, or an almighty devil. Oppose to all the hideous charges brought against thee by them, this only attribute.’ (Gurnall)

Isa 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Isa 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isa 55:10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

Isa 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isa 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isa 55:13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”

‘I passed by a plot of land which some landowner had been enclosing, as those rascals always will filch every morsel of green grass. But I noticed that the enclosers had only fenced it in, but had not dug it up, nor plowed it, nor planted it. And though they had cut down the gorse, it was coming up again. Of course it would, for it was still a meadow, and a bit of fence or rail could not alter it. The gorse would come peeping up, and before long the enclosure would be as wild as the heath outside.

But this is not God’s way of working. When God encloses a heart that has laid open to sin, does he cut down the thorns and the briars and then plant fir trees? No-he changes the soil so that from the ground itself, from its own vitality, the fir tree and the myrtle spontaneously start up. This is a most wonderful result. If a man remains at heart the same godless man, you can mend his habits, make him go to church, clothe him, keep him away from alcohol, and teach him not to talk filthily, and then say, “He’s now a respectable man.” But if these outward respectabilities and rightnesses are only skin deep, you have done nothing. At least, what you have done is nothing to be proud of. But suppose this man can be so changed that just as freely as he was accustomed to curse he now delights to pray, and just as heartily as he hated religion he now finds pleasure in it, and just as earnestly as he sinned he now delights to be obedient to the Lord. This is a wonder, a miracle which man cannot accomplish, a marvel which only the grace of God can work and which gives God his highest glory.’ (Spurgeon)