It is a common teaching today that God promises physical and material prosperity in His word. Many will go ahead and say that we are called to be prosperous. In my view, this kind of teaching is one-sided and fails to see that Spiritual blessings far outweigh physical ones. God has not called us to physical prosperity but to spiritual provision as we seek to fulfil His purpose for us in life. In fact, true prosperity is when we live out the purpose of God in our lives. This may happen in a variety of categories of physical manifestations. We, therefore, become at home with any physical situation we find ourselves in knowing full well that it pleases God to honour Him in our situation in life. Today I call us to know God from a very personal level by acknowledging Him in our situations. I am calling us to be witnesses to God’s immense grace.
- SEE (vs 4-5)
If we use the word “see” as a command it can only mean that we are calling attention to something or someone. It is a call to witness something spectacular.
The word “see” introduces verse 4 of Isaiah 55. It tells us that God has established David as a witness of His grace. David will be a witness to all nations and a leader among nations by God’s grace. In verse 5 the blessing of David becomes extended to all of Israel. Such that they will draw nations by the splendour which God has bestowed upon them. They will summon nations they do not know and those nations will come running to their aid because God has adorned them with splendour.
If we remember that at this juncture Isaiah has prophesied about the exile and the punishment God has kept for His rebellious people, then we can only conclude that it is by grace alone that such can be true. In other words, the children of Israel will watch as they turn from being villains to being God’s favourite. All by God’s grace!
God’s grace transforms us from the inside out. It makes even those far away amazed at what God can do. It turns us into leaders instructing nations about God’s ways. It show-cases us as God’s masterpiece for people to come and marvel at His goodness. It covers us with heavenly glory that makes people drawn to us, not because of our goodness, but in spite of our badness! It is God’s grace: His unmerited favour that makes people exclaim; “SEE!”
2. SEEK (v6)
The prophet Isaiah next admonishes Israel to seek God. The word “seek” in this context does not mean that God is hiding from them. It implies that they have left God and gone to their different paths far away from Him. As has been said, when we find ourselves far away from God we must ask ourselves who moved. The answer is always that we moved away from God. They are to seek God and call upon Him while He was near. This signifies the fact that God is about to act on their behalf, He thus calls their attention to Him. In short, God invites His people to prayer. He wants them to institute a calling on God that would result in His action on their behalf.
Again in the background of the exile, this would appear laughable. After all, they may have called on God, or expected Him to act on their behalf for 70 years! It would seem futile for them to call upon God in that situation as it may even feel hopeless. But it is God’s instructions for them to call upon Him.
What keeps us from experiencing God’s blessings in our lives? Lack of prayer. James 4:2b states clearly that we lack because we do not pray. We are invited to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). We must realize that our prayer life is very key to our spiritual vitality. A prayer-less Christian is a dead Christian. It is a prayer that unlocks for us unhindered fellowship with the master in all our circumstances in life so that we are at home whatever our situation. May I encourage us that all we need in life is to SEEK!
3. SLEEK? (v7)
The word “sleek” is used loosely to mean attractive things. A sleek car may appear elegant. A sleek outfit is good-looking. Sleek is catchy! The question is whether sleek is really durable or trustworthy.
In verse 7 the prophet asks those who are wicked to turn from their wickedness and turn to the Lord and He will have mercy upon them. This may mean generally and at all times the wicked should forsake their ways and turn to God. Or it might mean the wicked in the context of this passage. I think both meanings are implied though the latter is the focus of this verse. So who are the wicked? It appears that in this context it is those who doubt the promises of God. Who sees the prophecy as empty and impossible. Those who judge God and look down on His word on the basis of their current experience. Those who foment doubt in their hearts. Though they appear sleek they are actually fake! God calls such people to repent and turn from their wicked ways.
You may think this to be very harsh for those who because of fear doubt the promises of God. But it is clear from scripture that fear and doubt take us to the brink of unbelief and what is worse is that we take others with us. It appears very harmless when we assess situations and use them as the basis of doubt. What we don’t realize is that we are judging God as inadequate and unfaithful. There is only one response that honours God. It may not appear sleek or polished but it is real. This is the response by faith. The beauty of faith is that it pleases God at all times.
“And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6 ESV.
We must forsake this wickedness of belittling the promises of God. We must instead turn to God. God will have mercy and freely pardon us from our evil.
Let’s not try to be SLEEK let us have FAITH.