I peeked over the grape-stake fence that encloses our backyard. There I saw folks running, jogging, walking, and shuffling around the track that surrounds the park behind our home. I used to do that when I was stronger, I thought. And a wave of dissatisfaction washed over me.
Later, while reading the Scriptures, I came across Isaiah 55:1, “Come, all you who are thirsty,” and I realized again that dissatisfaction (thirst) is the rule, not the exception in this life. Nothing, not even the good things of life, can fully satisfy. If I had strong legs like a Sherpa (mountain-climbing guide), there would still be something else in my life that I’d be unhappy about.
Our culture is always telling us in one way or another that something we do, buy, wear, spray on, roll on, or ride in will give us endless pleasure. But that’s a lie. We can’t get complete satisfaction from anything in the here and now, no matter what we do.
Rather, Isaiah invites us to come again and again to God and the Scriptures to hear what He has to say. And what does He say? His love for David of old is “everlasting” and “faithful” (v. 3). And that goes for you and me as well! We can “come” to Him.
In what ways are you thirsty? How can knowing God is faithful help you today?
Isaiah 55 builds on the previous two chapters. Chapter 53 prophetically spoke of the Messiah’s future suffering and pointed to the offspring that will result because of it. Through this suffering the Messiah would “[bear] the sin of many” (v. 12)—in other words, bring us to salvation. In chapter 54 we see how this Messiah will one day completely restore the nation of Israel. Now, in chapter 55, the prophet shows us that God offers this salvation to all of us: “Come, all you who are thirsty” (v. 1). The invitation is to receive what we desperately need yet cannot earn. And in contrast to the bread that “does not satisfy” (v. 2), Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). Through Christ the Living Water (4:1–15), we quench our profound spiritual thirst. But we can’t buy this satisfaction with money, nor can we earn it with effort.