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Isaiah 55 Study Notes

55:1-13 This chapter consists of an invitation to God’s people to experience his forgiveness.

55:1 God will not only freely give water, but also the more substantial drinks of milk and wine. These drinks represent spiritual as well as physical nourishment.

55:2 God’s people had not been accepting the free offer of salvation represented by water for the thirsty. They had been spending their resources on things that did not bring soul satisfaction.

55:3 The covenant with David is found in 2Sm 7. David’s dynasty would be established forever (2Sm 7:16). During the Babylonian captivity, though, the Davidic line of kings ruling in Jerusalem came to an end with Zedekiah. The NT understood the unconditional promise to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, a descendant of David. Paul quotes this verse in Ac 13:34.

55:4-5 The promises to David are extended beyond God’s people to include the nations. In fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant (Gn 12:3), it envisions a time when the nations will come to God’s people.

55:6 The call to repent has a tone of urgency. A person must repent before God withdraws his presence and begins his work of judgment.

55:7 This is an exhortation to the wicked to leave the path or way he has been following and his own plans for his life (his thoughts). Note the reverse order of “thoughts” and “ways” in v. 8.

55:8-9 God is far above humanity in thought and deed. God’s people are called to turn from their sinful thoughts and deeds (v. 7) to God’s exalted thoughts and deeds.

55:10-11 Precipitation falls from sky to earth but then returns, but in the process it replenishes the earth and produces fertility. The same is true of God’s word. It returns to him but in the process causes spiritual growth in humanity.

55:12-13 Because of the redemption of God, his people and the rest of creation will break out in joyful singing, and wilderness terrain will turn into lush forests.

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