Ninth Sunday after Pentecost 02/08/2020

Sermon- “The Lord Satisfies our Deepest Need,” Isaiah 55:1-5, Pastor Joe Asher, Kaiserslautern Ev. Lutheran Church, Germany, Office of International Mission, Germany, *IN NOMINE JESU*

The Compassion of the Lord

55 “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.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.
Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
    and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has glorified you.

Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

To again give you the context of the Book of Isaiah, after pounding God’s people for their sin and wickedness for forty chapters, in these last chapters, with our text from Isaiah 55 included, the great prophet reminds the people of God’s compassion and grace.  Over and over again, Isaiah declares to Judah that the Lord’s blessing comes to those who look to the Lord in repentance and faith.

And in mercy, the first word to the people is-

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;

The imagery here of God providing water for the people’s need underlines the truth that it is our Lord Who sustains us both spiritually and physically in this life.

As I look at these first two lines from the Old Testament, I now realize that it wasn’t until I started traveling the world that I could begin to  understand the extreme importance of water to our human existence. (show a bottle of water)  You see, I grew up in Indiana, which is one of the states surrounding the Great Lakes.  So, as a child, a youth, and a  young man, I lived in one of the best fresh water watersheds on the face of the earth.  Water in rivers and lakes is everywhere!

Also, with modern living conditions and water piped into every home, no one was ever very far from a faucet which could satisfy one’s thirst.

So being “thirsty” is a condition I’ve not had much experience with.

But when I started traveling, and when I lived in Turkey, the arid climate and lack of water helped me better understand that water is vital to life.

In today’s reading, Isaiah uses the imagery of water to show that our relationship with God is also vital.   We depend on our Lord’s presence.  He gives us peace and comfort from His holy Word.  When our future is uncertain, we trust in the promise that He guides our lives and sustains us with His presence.

And our Lord doesn’t just give us the basics of life, he goes beyond what we need to exist and gives us the good stuff– wine and milk are offered by the Lord.  It is “rich food” (verse 2), and this indicates that the life God offers is full and rich.

And to God’s rebellious Israel, the Lord is saying that to have the BEST life, then He- our Lord– must be at the center.  

It should surprise no one that Jesus echoed Isaiah 55 when referring to Himself.  In John 7:37, He said-

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink…”

And then our Savior also said in John 10:10- (NIV)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Christ, Himself, is the One who satisfies our soul’s deepest need.  Our Lord gives life, and joy, and peace… all in connection with Himself.  When we trust Jesus in faith, then we have what is essential… more than that, what is crucial in life, because we are joined to Christ Who is the absolute Source of life.  

And we know this from our Lord’s interaction with the woman at the well in John 4:13-

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Eternal life in Christ is what we need beyond all the world’s distractions, for the problem that we all have is that we chase after things which can never ultimately satisfy us.  We live in a capitalistic, technology-obsessed, and media-saturated society which constantly diverts our attention from the things that truly matter.  But our Lord says, verse 3-

 Incline your ear, and come to me;
    hear, that your soul may live;

Our Lord gives us Himself as the nourishing alternative to the worthless unsatisfying food constantly dished up by this fallen world

The next thing to notice from the prophet is the first of two surprises.  The rich food which God gives is……………. FREE!  God offers a life with Him, verse 1-

…without money and without price.

So, in Christ, we get what we don’t pay for.  We get what we don’t deserve.  All we have to do is receive what God freely offers.

But it is an offer we can refuse.  In the same way that Israel (Judah/ southern kingdom) remained in

rebellion and wickedness and sin during Isaiah’s lifetime, the human heart can push away and reject all that God offers.  

I think I’ve said before that when I worked as a chaplain at the Indiana State Prison in Westville, I was constantly amazed that prisoners, sentenced to two to seven years, were constantly rejecting the Gospel and the full and meaningful life offered through faith in Jesus Christ.  They didn’t want the water.  They didn’t want the wine and milk.  They didn’t want the good stuff.  Instead, these men were at the lowest point in their lives, and still they refused to give God a chance.

That’s the way it is with sin.  We can choose our own way and decline all that God freely offers.  But God in His grace always offers His free gift of life to a rebellious world.  We see that in our Isaiah reading, we see that in Jesus’ life when He constantly presented life to an undeserving world, and we see it today as the Gospel is preached in this place and taken into prisons and internet streamed throughout the world.  The life God offers in Jesus is full and rich, and the Lord offers it free without money or price.  All we need do is believe the Gospel, which means… trust Jesus in faith.

Now I’ll go to the second surprise in this text, and it is found in verse 5-

 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
    and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,

The Gospel- the good news of Jesus is still going out to nations and people who don’t know Jesus as Savior.  This is God’s gracious plan for our lost world.  For the Word tells us that God- 1st Timothy 2:4

…would have all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

And more than anything else, what Isaiah 55 tells me is that God offers life and salvation freely and without cost.  And also, in His kindness, God wants everyone… everyone in loving and restored fellowship with Him, and in heaven, too.

So our Lord sends believers out with the Good News of Jesus.  We go out to a lost world, and our message is that God satisfies every need in Jesus.

In Jesus’ name.


+Sola Deo Gloria+

KELC Prayers- Pentecost 9- 8/2/20- Kaiserslautern, Germany

Almighty, everlasting God, through the Book of Isaiah we hear Your gracious invitation to come to the water and life which You supply.  We thank You for the salvation which You provide through Your Son, and we ask that by Your Holy Spirit You would draw us to You so that we may always receive the blessings You give.

Lord in Your mercy……………………………… Hear our prayer.

Blessed Jesus, Savior and Friend, we rejoice that You once provided bread and fish for the multitude.  We pray that You would sustain us also as the Bread of Life.  Strengthen us in Your service.

Lord in Your mercy……………………………… Hear our prayer.

Eternal Holy Spirit, You promise to always give life to the church as call, gather, enlighten and sanctify your people.  As we prepare for our fall Christian education program, give to KELC the wisdom we need to be about Your work.  We pray that the year ahead would be tremendously growth producing as You turn hearts to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Lord in Your mercy…………………………….. Hear our prayer.

Finally, Heavenly Father, in our families and among our friends and co-workers there are many who are in need of Your care.  For those who are sick, hospitalized, away on duty assignments, traveling, unemployed, and for all other needs, we name our loved ones in our hearts before you now…


Lord in Your mercy/ hear our prayer…

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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