Isaiah 55:1-3 (NLT): “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! 2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. 3 “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
1. Are you thirsty?
2. Are you relying on your own resources and abilities?
3. Are you wasting your time and resources on people and things?
4. Are you truly listening to God?
5. Do you have a relationship with God?
Yesterday we began a new series on finding true satisfaction in God and I proposed that part of our answer could be found in Isaiah 55:1-3. I went on to propose 5 questions and today I plan to start dissecting Isaiah 55:1-3 with the help of those 5 questions.
1. Are you thirsty? (“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink…)
I believe the first requirement to true satisfaction demands that we be thirsty for God. What does it mean to be thirsty? Thirsty is often defined as an intense desire; a strong craving; a need or desire for something (usually water). I think we can all relate for the thirst of water. Our mouths and throat become dry and all we want to do is drink something to satisfy our immediate need. When the thirst becomes bad enough, the desire for water or something wet to drink becomes more of a need than a want. It should be the same for us when it comes to Jesus Christ.
Psalm 42:1-2 (NLT): As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God.
Psalm 63:1-(NLT): O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
I don’t know about you all, but I can feel the passion in David’s voice. I truly believe it is his greatest desire to really know the Lord and stand in His presence.
Many of us Christians claim to “thirst” for the Lord, but I don’t believe most of our “thirsts” come to the point of absolute need. I know it is a shocking thing to say, but bear with me a moment. Jesus Christ is an absolute need, no questions about it. The problem is that a lot of us Christians want to be with the Lord, study His word, pray, and such when it is convenient for us or when we can fit it in. Our desire to be with the Lord remains more in the form of a mere want or even a “have to”. But God does not want this. God wants us to need Him and desire Him just like we do food and water.
John 4:13-14 (NLT): 3 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
I know I am not telling you guys anything you don’t already know. What I want to know is: are you living it? It is my belief that God truly wants us our thirst to be a need, an absolute must, no different from our food and water. And if we don’t feel like we need him, he will make sure we do.
Haggai 2-7 (NLT): 2 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.’” 3 Then the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6 You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!
7 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 8 Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD. 9 You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses. 10 It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. 11 I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.”
As many of you may recall, about 600 b.c. the Jews became captives of the Babylonians. The lived in captivity for about 70 years and then they were released to go back to their homelands and rebuild. Now can you imagine the great mess they returned to after being gone 70 years? I mean, I know how much I hate coming back to my house after we’ve been on vacation for a week or so! Anyway, King Cyrus had ordered that the Jews rebuild including the temple, so they got started on it and ran into trouble when the Samaritans wanted to help. The Jews did not want their help because they weren’t full blooded Jews and problem after problem ensued. The Samaritans then sent word back to the King and the project was halted.
The Jews seemed content to let it go and start rebuilding their own lives. For 14 years the Jews worked on their homes and communities, building lavish homes and such, while the temple lay in ruins. It seemed that no one could motivate them to fight for what was right and go back to rebuilding the temple. They didn’t even notice that God was working against them. [They planted tons, but only harvested little; there was never enough food or drink to keep them satisfied, and while they worked hard, they never had any money.]
You see, the Jews got so caught up with their own personal lives that they did not make God a priority. They spent all their time, money, and resources rebuilding their own homes while His temple was left in ruins. Yes, they faced opposition, but they could have fought for what right; they didn’t. God was not about to let His “chosen” people get away with such behavior. God want us to know that we need him and he will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
We can criticize the Jews for their obvious oversight, but we do this all the time with our own time and money. We have enough time and money to take vacations, go out to dinner, buy gifts and such, but we don’t have time to go to church or extra church events and we don’t have any money to give the church. Our “unchurched” friends, family, and the world say nasty things about our belief, but we sit idly by afraid to take a stand. And then we wonder why everything seems to be working against us!
Some may be wondering what this has to do with thirst. If the Jews were thirsty for Jesus, rebuilding a temple would have been a must. If they had rebuilt the temple, then God wouldn’t have had to humble them so that they would see their need for Him.
We are to thirst and hunger for Jesus just as we thirst and hunger for food. We will never know true satisfaction if we do not first thirst for Jesus because it is our thirst that drives us to seek Him.
Have a blessed day, and I hope you come back tomorrow!