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June 26, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Is not something without price suitable

Pastor George Koivukangas, Laestadian Lutheran, Stockholm

The prophet Isaiah had a very remarkable offering unto his people. “Ho everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; Come ye, and buy, eat; yea come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1

In a way different from the merchants from the eastern lands, the prophet promised goods without cost and didn’t try to get the highest possible price for his product. Doesn’t that which is good and in addition free, sell like hotcakes, even without selling? Are people more interested in that which costs a lot and looks expensive? Is not something that is free and a gift, acceptable?

Something that is free is not always suitable to a proud person. The prophet also realized this in his time. The people gladly gave money for that which was not bread. Regardless of that, the prophet was able to call the people of his time to the partaking of living water with the help of God’s power.

The Babylon King Nebuchadnezzar brought prisoners from Judah to Babylon in the years 597 and 586 B.C. The captivity lasted for decades after which they could return to their homeland. Their minds surely were joyful when they could return and begin rebuilding.

As they were returning, the prophet called all who were athirst to the water. Such an invitation surely caused the people to pause and listen. What did this speech mean? History relates that with these people in captivity the outward or temporal conditions were quite good, even so good that some of the exiles did not want to return to their homeland. But they had experienced spiritual thirst and hunger for the word of God. Now they were offered such water that takes away the dry thirst of death from the soul of man. The prophet offered this kind of miraculous water.

“Everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the water.” This is the sweet message of the gospel, offering grace and mercy unto all.

When the prophet speaks of wine without price, he means the Messianic salvation which was still to come. With the milk is portrayed the pure word of God: “As newborn babes, desiring the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow there by.” 1 Peter 2:2

The prophet emphasizes the importance of hearing God’s word. No matter how much food and drink one has, if he lacks food for the soul or God’s living word, he is poorer than the poor. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

Isaiah did not exhort those in his time in vein to hear God’s word, for Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17.

God still makes known the good tidings of His Kingdom in the word of the gospel; it is a free offer of mercy to all.

Yes, dear neighbor, even to you. “Come ye, buy and eat without money and without price.”

Is not something without price suitable?

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