How about these sales pitches to people without money?
- Bad Credit Loans Fast & Easy!
- CASH NOW! NO credit check!
- Be debt free by this time tomorrow!
- Bad Credit Is Okay
And then there’s this one from the Bible, “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” (Isaiah 55:1).
How do you buy something without money? If the store owner gives you something, but doesn’t charge you for it, it’s called a gift, not a purchase. You didn’t buy anything. The owner might say, “This one’s on the house.”
Here’s the thing, that doesn’t often happen whether we’re shopping for groceries or dining at a decent restaurant. So our first inclination when actually buying something without money is to go into debt. Plastic now. Pay later.
God’s plan in Isaiah 55, however, is built upon different economics. He’s teaching us the spiritual truth of his grace, his forgiveness, his love, his attention, his blessings. His salvation. These gifts from God nourish our lives better than the best of nutrition. And, they do not cost you a thing!
You owe no debt to God when you ask for his forgiveness. Of course, you can’t pay for it, but he doesn’t expect you to charge it and pay him later. God has already paid for it, in the sacrificial gift of his Son Jesus.
You won’t receive a bill for God’s mercy. Of course, you don’t deserve it, but he’s got it covered. His compassion and care, his power and providing, are vast enough to handle all the mercy you need.
Looking for better spiritual health? Pay attention to these three invitations from God.
“Come.” God wants you closer to him. Yes, he knows it’s you. He knows everything you’ve done. The mistakes you’ve made. The mess you can be. He calls all of it and all of you.
“Buy.” To buy is to believe. To buy in, to take ownership, to embrace, to say to God, “I’m all in!” Spiritual health is, first and foremost, faith.
“Eat.” Enjoy. To eat is to lift the fork, to taste goodness, to dine and delight and feel satisfied in what God gives.1
PRAYER: You are generous, God, in your love and grace. Teach my heart to humbly say “thank you,” and to buy your blessings without cost. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Spend at least 20 minutes meditating on Isaiah 55 today. Reflect on these questions and pray about them. God is listening, and reading to enlighten you with deeper understanding.
- What is our typical mistake in God’s spiritual economy (v. 2a)?
- The true God of the Bible is a communicator. He reveals and speaks, promising that you are saved. He doesn’t hide, forcing you to solve clues. All he says is “listen to me.” What, exactly, does he want you to hear (v. 2b-3)?
- When you have trouble forgiving someone for their wicked behavior or unjust actions, how can v. 7 help you take steps in the process of forgiving?
- We say, “God, you have it all wrong. You don’t understand how it’s supposed to be working. I need to teach you a few things.” And God gives us two reasons in vv. 8-11 why we are mistaken. What are they?
- Joy and peace (v. 12) are two indicators of spiritual health. What blessing of God can you celebrate right now, giving you greater joy for today? What What promise of God can you believe right now, giving you better peace today?
1 Adapted from materials at www.homileticsonline.com, March 24, 2019, “Bad Credit Okay!”