Prepare to listen. Be still and hear these words of the Lord: Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. (Isaiah 55:3)
Read Isaiah 55:1-5
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
Lent is a time for fasting, right? So why am I reading about eating and drinking, and words like: ‘Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.’ The first thing to note is that this is poetry and thus the language is symbolic rather than literal. Why work hard and spend big money on stuff that won’t last and won’t bring satisfaction in the end? Why not come to the Lord God and ‘buy’ what God offers for nothing? That’s the challenge of this passage and one we need to take to heart and ask ourselves. Three times Yahweh calls us to listen, incline the ear, to him. The way to receiving the ‘free food and drink’ of the Lord, is the way of listening, entering into a silent place so that we can focus our entire being to hear God speak in our heart.
‘Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?’ Listen to God who urges you, ‘Incline your ear and come to me.’
Respond to Jesus in prayer
Lord God, help me to practice listening to you today so that I choose the way that leads to freedom in living and growing. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world where God calls us to come and buy freely.
Reading the Bible has always been essential to followers of Jesus. I've been reading, studying, teaching and writing reflections on biblical texts for as long as I can remember. I invite you to read the Bible with me during the Lent and into Easter Sunday.