Sermons

Summary: God offers us a midnight buffet (like on a cruise) of spiritual blessing to people who are hungry and thirsty.

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Introduction

We love a buffet!

If you have ever had the opportunity to go on a cruise...

and one of the highlights for many people...

is the midnight buffet!!

Have you ever experienced this phenomena?...

They actually open the buffet line earlier than midnight...

not for people to eat...

but just so that people can go through the line before it gets all picked over...

and take pictures of the food, the decorations, the ice sculptures, etc...

Let me share some pictures with you so you can have an idea of what I’m talking about...

Now, I know that you might accuse me of being rude and thoughtless...

talking about a huge buffet...

right in the middle of Lent...

but actually, our Scripture uses food and water in a metaphorical sense...

to refer to spiritual thirst and spiritual hunger being satisfied...

Read: Isaiah 55:1-9

Isaiah was a very prominent author in the Bible...

arguably the greatest writing prophet in the Bible...

He was married with at least 2 children...

His name means, “The Lord is Salvation”...

He began his ministry in 740 BC...the year that King Uzziah died...

The book of Isaiah is neatly divided into two halves...

the first half, Isaiah 1-39, contain judgments from God against the people of Israel because of their sin...

and also judgments against some of the enemies of the people of Israel...

But the 2nd half of Isaiah contains some of the best literature in the Bible...

it offers comfort to God’s people who were struggling under Babylonian exile...

and Isaiah prophesied the end of the exile...

The first 2 verses of this second half (Isaiah 40:1-2) says:

Comfort, comfort my people,

says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and proclaim to her

that her hard service has been completed,

that her sin has been paid for,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand

double for all her sins.

1. Buffet

so picture people living in exile...

they are not free...

they are separated from the Temple...

which to the people of Israel symbolized the very presence of God...

it would not be uncommon for people in exile to be impoverished...

they would likely have been very familiar with being hungry and being thirsty...

they would have been familiar with being mistreated...

so, picture these people and their situation...

and then listen to the first two verses of our text again...

and think about how it might be an encouragement to people living under very difficult circumstances...

“Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Try to put yourself in a similar situation...

I know it’s hard...

but use your imagination...

you are hungry...

thirsty...

but you have no money to buy food...

you walk by Golden Corral...

you can smell the delicious food...

you begin to salivate...

and your stomach aches...

just hungering for a crust of bread...

and just as you are walking by...

someone throws open the doors and says...

“Come on in...

“Oh, I wish I could, but I have no money”...

“That’s okay, your money’s not good here anyway!!...

take all you want!!!

eat your fill!!”

a person struggling with hunger might even break down in tears...

at the thought of all that food available for free...

and not just to satisfy hunger...

but to someone who is literally starving to death...

the buffet provides new life!!...

But, as I said...

this picture of food and water is a metaphor for spiritual blessing...

Romans 6:23 says,

“The wages of sin is death,

but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are born in sin...

and not only that...but we have willfully committed sins

and because of that sin that we were born with...

and because of those sins that we committed...

we deserved death...

death is the penalty for sin...

it was obvious in the Old Testament sacrificial system...

when a pure animal...

without spot or defect...

was killed for the sins of the people...

that death should have been ours...

but, because of that “gift of God”...

we do not have to suffer the death that we have rightfully earned...

instead, we can enjoy eternal life...

and what IS that “gift of God”?...

that gift of God is His Son, Jesus Christ, hanging on the cross...

the ultimate Sacrificial Lamb...

without sin...

without defect...

taking upon Himself...

the punishment that should have rightfully been ours...

And God is calling out to us as sinners...

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