There is an experience that just about everyone has shared at one time or another and that is to desire something that we cannot afford. When something we want is unaffordable we have some options. Our first option would be to go into debt in order to try and get what we want. Our second option would be to try and steal it. Our third and sensible option would be to quench our desire, be realistic, and move on without it. Also there is a fourth option: It could be paid for by someone else and then given to us. In Isaiah 55:1-2, the Lord says, “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.”
This passage tells us a number of things about the Lord and what He offers. First, that which the Lord offers us is fully satisfying and it must be paid for. Second, anything that you are able to purchase will never satisfy. Third, anything that you are able to labor for or work for will never satisfy. Fourth, the Lord invites the thirsty and the hungry ones to come to His table, but without money. Therefore, we are now in a very vulnerable position, aren’t we? We are told to come and see that which will completely satisfy and it must be bought but…don’t bring any money because it is unaffordable. I had to read that passage many times in order to see all of that in it, so I encourage you to do that if necessary.
Many years after Isaiah’s invitation, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt 5:6). Jesus, just like Isaiah, is telling us to come and eat but come without money and without your labors because you can neither afford nor earn what He has to offer. Jesus then goes to the cross and pays for that which is unaffordable, that which is priceless. We have all piled up a huge debt that we can never pay and the price to sit at the table of the Lord is far out of our price range but someone else has paid our debt and has paid for our place at the table and invites us to receive it all by faith. So don’t come to the table hoping to prove yourself to the Lord nor should you come timidly – inching your way to the table. When you come to the table, come running and believing in Christ. Then you will taste and see that the Lord is good.
– Jake McCall is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. He is the pastor at Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Clanton, AL.