Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Milk and Wine

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters, and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost" (Isaiah 55:1).

What a beautiful invitation! Two articles are for sale: milk, symbolic of abundance and the essentials of life, and wine, the emblem of that which cheers and inspires. The price we pay is no price: "Nothing in my hand I bring." It is an unconditional gift. We are not to pay for our salvation with any kind of works, for it is an insult to the grace of God. Indeed, it is our very emptiness which recommends us. Our destitution is His restitution. "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it" (Psalm 81:10b). We are not speaking of temporal blessings here: "Wine, water, and milk are figurative representations of spiritual revival, re-creation, and nourishment" (Delitzsch).

Who are invited? We are, all of us who hunger and thirst for His righteousness. We are invited who have no money -- no gold of goodness and no silver of sanctity -- of our own. It is for those of us who are impoverished. God understands our material wants, too: "Come, come, come, My people! I know that your physical needs must be met so that your spiritual needs may be fulfilled, too."

"I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see" (Revelation 3:18). We are never such desperate sinners that we cannot heed the gracious call and counsel of our Savior to buy our salvation with a broken and contrite heart. All else fails. "Come and buy of Me the treasures of peace and joy that only I can give you."

"It is addressed to each and all. The invitation is bounded only by the thirst the felt need. Not the rich, the noble, the great; not the select and the few; but those who partake of a common want, and are capable of a common satisfaction. It proves that provision has been made for all. Can God invite to a salvation which has not been provided? Can he ask a man to partake of a banquet which has no existence? Can he ask a man to drink of waters when there are none? Can he tantalize the hopes and mock the miseries of men by inviting them to enter a heaven where they would be unwelcome, or to dwell in mansions which have never been provided?" (Anonymous.)

"...Having nothing, and yet possessing everything…." (2 Corinthians 6:10).

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