Come... to the waters

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55;1) 

The first three verses of Isaiah 55 are surely among the most beautiful words ever written, an invitation to refreshment, sustenance and life from the Almighty Himself.

The invitation is addressed to everyone that thirsteth with no exceptions or conditions.  This only is needed, a realisation that you are thirsty.  Sadly, we are told by the prophet Jeremiah that the people of Israel had “forsaken the fountain of living waters (the LORD Himself) and hewed out to themselves broken cisterns that hold no water.”  And is that not the condition of many in this formerly christian country? 

In the days of his flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ met a Samaritan woman to whom he said that if she knew who he was she  “wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”  He goes on to say “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”   But read the whole section (John 4:7 to 29).

It is this that distinguishes true Christianity from the false: the New Birth, life, and indwelling by the Holy Spirit without which it is an empty cistern.  

Just look at what this wonderful invitation says: “he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat: yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price,” illustrating that it is not according to our ability, not according to religion, not according to our works, or our education; but according to the free grace of God who offers this to all.

Alas do we not all spend much of our time trying to satisfy ourselves with the things of this world that can never really satisfy the soul?  So often we seek things, go places, buy things: we spend money for things that cannot feed the soul and the danger is that we will leave this life without these things and also without God’s salvation.

King Solomon, as many will know, was renowned for the wisdom that the LORD had given him.  He also had riches beyond measure that gave him the opportunity to taste all that this world could offer.  He tried mirth and pleasure, wisdom and folly.  He tried great works, builded houses, planted vineyards, gardens, orchards, and trees of all kinds of fruit.  He got singing men and singing women silver and gold in abundance, “So I was great,” he says.  But in the end the wisest king who ever lived, when he had tasted all, he says “behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:2,3, 9-11)

When the Lord Jesus was here in this world he asked one of the most important questions ever: “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 8:36,37)

Today salvation is offered to us without money and without price, but it has not been without cost, for it cost God His beloved Son whom he delivered up freely for us, as well as Christ Himself who offered Himself upon the Cross of Calvary for us sinners.

But to obtain the living waters, the bread of life, and the wine of his joy, it is incumbent upon us that we “come,” “hearken diligently”, “incline our ears” “come unto Him.

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 37,38)  Let us hear the words of Christ and “Come."

“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” (Isa 12:3).  May it be so.

Ho, ye thirsty! parched and fainting,

  Here are waters, turn and see! 

To the thirstiest, poorest, vilest, 

Without money, all is free— 

    Thirsty sinner! 

Drink and stay not, 'tis for thee.

(Horatius Bonar)


© Douglas Carr 2021