S-1265 7SAP/3A 07/31/11, (O) #5; (S) #277; L.S. #462; #312; #597; (C) #45
Text: Isaiah 55:1-5; Romans 9:1-539; Matthew 14:13-21
Theme: “What God Wants for You!” Isaiah 55:1-2
Question: “What do you want out of life?”
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost is the O. T. lesson: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (Isaiah 55:1-2).
In Nomini Iesu,
Beloved in Christ, there is a not a father or mother sitting here today, who doesn’t wish to give their children the best of everything. Parents sacrifice; work long and hard to provide for their sons and daughters their heart’s desire. Their labor of love is evident by the way they care for them and provide them, with home, food, clothing and spiritual feeding at the feet of Jesus.
Some parents even work overtime to provide more than is humanly possible. Others deny themselves things so that they can send their kids to college; help them buy a home or car, take a special trip, play sports and the like.
My home in the old country wasn’t any different from other homes. Yet, there were those times when my parents didn’t eat their food so that, we, eight children, would have enough to fill our growling stomachs. This is done out of love for the children God gave them. Indeed, parents love their children and don’t wish them harm but good and every blessing.
Today, as we sit in the Father’s house we are taught of His love and great hands of mercy that extend out to us—His blood-bought children. In this text God wants His children—you and me to have the very best without paying for it. He wants to quench our thirst, calm our hunger and receive all of the goods out of His gracious hands.
Even the prophet Jeremiah speaks of what God wants for His beloved Children: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans of good and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (29:11). God wants what is best for you.
Thus Isaiah in this text describes the plight of a rebellious Israel with wilderness imagery. Because of her sin she wandered in a trackless wasteland with no water to drink. Her captivity in Babylon far from Jerusalem was a spiritual wilderness. Now God through mercy and compassion issues the beautiful invitation of our text to a hopeless, despairing people. God’s overflowing love is freely poured out for sinners, refreshing water to drink, food and drink for sustenance; and spiritual refreshment that lasts forever. ALL WITHOUT COST! PAUSE.
Instead of just complaining to God about how bad the people have become, Isaiah does something positive. He calls the people back to God, and reminds them of the futility of worshiping idols. He reminds them of God’ love towards David and the covenant He made with him, that they would see the errors of their way and return.
This text is not only for the people of old, but for us also. God wants us to hear the invitation and not waste our time and efforts chasing the wind and ways of the world that never satisfies. But rather be gathered in the Father’s house and receive what He offers us from His abundant blessings and provisions. PAUSE.
Perhaps, this happened to you. You are going through the groceries sale ads. Your eye comes upon this message. “This week you can get a free jar of Peanut Butter”. However, as you look closer you realize there is a fine print at the bottom of the ad with these words: “with a $20 purchase.” What appeared to be free really wasn’t!
When the Lord invites you dear ones saying: “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost,” know the immutable and immortal truth—there’s no fine print in His offer. God the Father really means it. And He’s not talking about groceries for your body. He’s referring to the milk of His grace and the wine of His love. He’s offering the forgiveness for sin that your hungry soul needs. We have no money with which to purchase pardon from a holy God. We don’t have even one cent in our pocket with which to walk into His heavenly supermarket. Even if we had the money of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and the Rockefellers COMBINED, we wouldn’t even have enough. Left to ourselves our souls would limp through life horribly hungry and end up withered in hell.
Does this mean no money—no forgiveness for us? That’s not what the Lord said. When He says “without cost,” He means for YOU, not for Him. Your forgiveness cost God plenty. He paid not with a check with six or seven digits on it but with the precious blood of Jesus for the food our souls need. Now this gracious and compassionate Father offers pardon and peace free to sinners like you and me. Never do the shelves in His heavenly grocery run out of stock. But we need to know the address of His store.
It’s called God’s Holy House. Here the loving Father feeds us with His gracious Word. Here the eternal Father provides a place—His supermarket where hungry sinners can find His free food. Here, He gives you what you can’t buy on your own—forgiveness, peace and life eternal. PAUSE.
Remember what I said earlier, at times parents sacrifice and deny themselves a lot of things so that they can give their children the best? I know you have done that. I have witnessed you working hard and long to provide the best for them.
Even our loving, caring and compassionate Father does the same. He has denied Himself of His only Son—Jesus. For 33 years the Father looked to earth to watch His Son Jesus live among us. For 33 years, Jesus lived the perfect life of obedience to the Father’s will away from His Father’s presence. For 33 years He kept every commandment and decree of God. But in the end the time came that even the Son was denied of the mercy and compassion of His Father.
And it is this compassion that our Gospel lesson speaks about that drives Jesus to deny Himself everything, even the embrace of His loving Father, the comfort of His earthly mother, the company of His closest companions (disciples) and goes all the way to the cross. He goes there because He has compassion on sinners like you and me. While it is true that Jesus’ obedience is the only way that our salvation can be accomplished, it is His willingness to deny Himself from everything that is human and travels the Via Dolorosa (the way of suffering) all the way to Calvary. What He feels in His gut for sinners like you makes Him go. It drives Him. He wants you that much! He desires to give you the best and offers you the most through the miracle of the Cross, where the sinless Son of God offers Himself to be the “more than enough” once and for all sacrifice. Here is where we see the true heart of God! He desires mercy, not sacrifice!
Today, as you sit in the Father’s house, know that He loves you and wants to bless you. He calls you by name. “Come my child, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Yes, come little ones to God’s house often. Feed at His table, dine with Him on the broken body, drink the cup of His salvation and receive the blessings from His hands. PAUSE.
Do you know what God wants for you? He wants to love you, care for you, forgive you and bless you. And He has. He has done it again today, and He will continue to do it until you spend eternity in His heavenly Supermarket feeding forever on His grace, mercy and goodness. Thanks be to God for what He gives us in His Son. Amen.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA.