“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1)
The chapter begins with an imperative; and urgent call. The first word, Ho or Hoy in the Hebrew is an alert. It is followed by three commands to come; a pressing invitation. The repetition expresses earnestness or gravity. It is a call to those who thirst; not everyone. The expressed reason for the invitation is that people are not where they need to be or have want they need. Their needs are not being met or satisfied—God is calling because He is aware of the need.
The invitation is personal. God seeks us out as individuals. Recall that in the Garden after Adam and Eve had sinned, God sought them out. He sought Moses in the burning bush. He called Samuel and Gideon. He called His disciples.
Clearly, It is God the Host who is calling. The call is to those who seek water but have not been successful in finding it. God’s call is also to the poor—those who have no money. Water is essential to physical life and to spiritual life in the Word. The call is to a feast—more than just water. The table is laden with wine and milk. Wine brings delight and milk brings nourishment.
God’s invitation is to those who have no money. He makes the feast available to all regardless of position or wealth. The invitation is to buy. Those who have no money are invited to buy, but without money and without a price. The feast is free!
Obviously it has been paid for by someone—Christ. That transaction has already taken place. It is a free gift of God to those who thirst for a relationship with God. The message is that satisfying the longing of the spirit is free of charge. We cannot earn it. It cannot be paid for with money. The feast of the abundant life has been bought with a price; the death of Jesus. Here, the Lord has already purchased and prepared the feast.
The imagery here is of physical thirst and hunger, conditions that must be dealt with daily. The message is that we experience spiritual thirst and hunger that must be dealt with daily. The nourishment being offered is for the soul.
He is no fool that gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.—Jim Elliot