True Grace, Costly Grace
This text concludes Isaiah of the Exile, 40-55, in a playful, powerful way. A water-seller’s cry! But no sale, no cost. Wine, milk, bread provided free! The people have so missed real life that they labor to eat the dust and tree bark of their self-made powers. If they could listen to another story, God’s story, everything would be gourmet! Their broken life could become really alive.
Behind this lies a complex story of brokenness and exile. God’s promise of renewal seen through God’s self-giving love embodied in the Suffering Servant. God is king renewing through a servant.
If people are going to really hear this, they must listen carefully, to grasp a new kind of Grace! We’re sure there must be a catch: God is wanting to snatch life away, fill us with guilt. True, we are guilty, but God’s aim is to share the living water, rich food of his own life with his creatures.
Israel’s Covenant and Story Extended to All People
Isaiah stresses that the God Israel knows is the only God. All other gods are human constructions. But the only God must be the God of all the world, all nations and peoples, even Persians, etc.
God’s promises extend out from Israel/David to all. A strange dance of new knowledge will come. Israel will impact peoples they don’t know and those strangers will run to a God of such grace.
A Greatness so Vast, We Struggle to See It