“… while he may be found”
Today’s chapter (55) in Isaiah starts with an invitation, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come …” The next verse asks a question, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?” Today so many spend their money and energies on that which has no lasting satisfaction, they are living for the pleasures of the moment, but God says, “Incline your ear and come to me; hear, that your soul may live and I will make with you an everlasting covenant …” (verse 3).
From verse 6 we read an urgent appeal that is extremely relevant for today, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near”.
Today is the time of the final ingathering before God arises to “shake terribly the earth” (Isaiah 2:19,21). It is those who have “no money” – no righteousness of their own that he is calling – he is not calling the self-righteous, just as Jesus did not call the Pharisees.
Are you righteous? If not, note verse 7, where we read, “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 our God, for he will abundantly pardon”. Reading God’s word regularly is a genuine sign that we are turning to the Lord.
Verse 11 tells us that God’s word does not return to him “empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose”. Those who incline their ear to God, to hearing and reading his word, know what is his ultimate purpose! The key question is – whether that ‘knowing’ inspires them “to seek the LORD while he may be found”. Some will leave it too late – there will not be enough oil (of faith) in their lamps and the door will be shut.
Our Revelation reading has the wonderful picture of “the marriage of the Lamb, and his Bride has made herself ready … Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (19:7,9). What blessings are in store for those with sufficient oil in their lamps! Chapter 21:3,4 tells us that ultimately “God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning not crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”. Will you have “passed away” – or will you be there?