Summary: Some people fill their lives with many things that never really bring full satisfaction. Jesus is the only person who can bring true satisfaction to your soul.
Isaiah 55:1 – 3 reads, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy, and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you – The sure mercies of David.”
One creative way to get people thinking about the hungry of the world is to put in a “Feast or Famine” dinner. Elizabeth Goode, a pastor from Williamsport, Maryland tells about a time she tried it: Three tables were set up. Two were quite long – a third seating only a few people. One of the long tables was set with only a bare, brown paper top. The people there received only a small cup of water and a survival biscuit.
A number of families with young children were seated at this table. The other long table had a plain white table covering and they received a cup of water and a cup of noodle broth. The third, smaller table was set with a linen table cloth, a floral arrangement, candelabras, full table settings and there were served a plate overflowing with the works. In the discussion that took place over the meals, one 5 year-old boy, seated at the table with the survival biscuits, looked around and then announced in a stage voice: “This isn’t fair. And if Jesus were here He’d do something about it!!”
Have you ever been to a really good buffet? Have you ever been to a restaurant where they had almost everything you could want – spread out in a buffet line, table after table of all kinds of good food. Now I’ve heard of Jo-Deans down in Yankton is pretty good. Some people like the Royal Fork or Valentino’s in Sioux Falls. I personally like Whippersnappers in Branson, Missouri where you can eat all the lobster and crab legs you’d like for a verrrrry reasonable price.
Personally, I really like buffets. I’ve never met a buffet I didn’t like. You can ask Michelle. She just has to say the word, “buffet,” and I’m in the car, honking the horn, waiting for us to get going. What Michelle really likes is a deal, a coupon, a freebie. If we can get that buffet for half-price or free she’s just as excited as I am.
Isaiah wrote this scripture more than 2700 years ago and he knew what good food was and what a good deal was. He invites us, the reader to come check out this spiritual buffet. He invites anyone who is thirsty or hungry to come and pig out, for free, the best that God has to offer….bread, water, wine, and milk.
(Addressing God) “Um God, is the main course still coming? I mean where’s the prime rib? Where’s the broasted chicken? Where’s the chocolate cheesecake?” “Sure you’re giving water, wine, milk, and bread for free but look at it…its water, wine, milk, and break!”
I don’t know if anyone of us here has ever faced life-threatening thirst or hunger. But I think we at least know what it is like to be hungry or thirsty for a little while. Maybe you were working outside in the hot sun or you were held up for some reason and you had a late supper. Try to remember those times that your stomach was growling or you were cotton-mouthed.
Those feelings, those pangs of thirst and hunger were not unfamiliar in Isaiah’s time. Palestine is still an area that is arid, desert-like and bare. Not too many signs of life in that area of the world. That is where our author Isaiah lived when he was writing this book. Water was crucial, even more crucial to them than it is to our farmers. Without water they would soon die.
I’m sure that you have often heard that the human can go three, four days without water. But in the desert that time is cut in half. The heat bearing down on you in an unprotected and vast desert environment makes short work of any moisture you might have in your body. Isaiah knew the importance of water for survival. But Isaiah is not talking about the water you find in a drinking fountain or the water you find in stream. Isaiah is talking about water that will quench your inner soul’s thirst. He’s talking about water, wine and milk that never run dry and always brings satisfaction.
Let’s look at that word, “satisfaction.” “Satisfaction” comes from Latin meaning “sufficient” plus the meaning, “to make.” Put these together and you have, “to make sufficient.” Let me ask you, “What makes your life sufficient?” Or rather, “How much is enough?” How much money – to compensate you for your work? How much time – to devote to your family and church? How much public press – satisfy your ego? How much opportunity for private reflection – to deepen your understanding? How much stuff is enough for you? And, no matter how much stuff you have, how do you find and define satisfaction?