Proper 20: Old Testament, Isaiah 55:6-9
One of those passages. One of those that causes me to stop and nearly gasp. Full and overflowing with good news is this announcement by dear old Isaiah. Referred to by some as “the fifth gospel,” the book of Isaiah makes clear that God in the fulfillment of all His promises to His people will send a mighty Deliverer. But as is well known by Bible lovers, the Deliverer given isn’t General George Patton in a robe and sandals. No, sir!
All due respect to the great American general, God’s Deliverer comes clothed with pity and faithful love towards those He rescues. Oh there was blood spilled in the work of liberation, and by a Soldier of sorts. But oh, the venue. Oh, the enemy. Oh, the conquering Hero.
Isaiah paints the picture that God’s people are struggling to find their way. In fact, lost they are and in need of rescue. So God in His ever-hearing humility sends word to, “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Sin, the real and true enemy alive in the hearts of God’s people must be vanquished and forgiveness proclaimed. And here is the treasure of all treasures in that proclamation: “he (God) will abundantly pardon” (55:7b). Not merely pardon. But abundantly pardon.
Are you gasping? Or perhaps eyes are filling? Or perhaps unbelief rises at the divine announcement. All are possible. But dear one, if you are struggling to believe this good news (and I do at times), seek the Lord who is calling to you. His invitation is open and His gifts are always more than enough. Yes, in a word, abundant.