It’s a mystery why God should want us to come and dine with him, yet he does nevertheless.
God doesn’t force us into a relationship with Him, he invites us. This is an invitation to those who recognise that they are spiritually dry and in need of refreshment.
Buy and Eat
What are we buying into? God offers us the richest of fare, an extravagant feast.
In scripture, milk is likened to a spiritually sustained life, whilst wine represents the joy found in a true relationship with God.
There is no cost to us for this spiritual sustenance and joy. It is free and priceless because it’s purely by grace and, therefore, something all of us can afford. God has covered it and cost was huge, paid for by the death of his Son Jesus. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa 53:5).
We are all tempted to look away from God and buy into other things to satisfy our thirst for meaning and purpose, but Isaiah cautions us to consider what we invest our money or energy on as we try to find satisfaction and fulfilment.
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing” (Blaise Pascal)
God says make sure you buy and eat what is good.
We need to learn to discern God’s voice among the many competing voices in our everyday lives and listen carefully to what He is saying. In Isaiah’s day God used prophets to speak to his people. Today we can still hear God’s voice, primarily through his Word the Bible. But are we listening?
It’s only by truly listening to God that we will find real and abundant life.
Seek and Call
It seems more and more people are praying and seeking God in this forced period of reflection that we are experiencing today.
“As COVID-19 reminds us of life’s fragility, an increasing number of people are turning to faith and spirituality” – NewStatesman
God wants to be found and wants us to persue him wholeheartedly, not simply in a time of crisis, but with intenisity and a singlemindedness.
The table has been set and the invitation offered. We need to actively make the effort to seek God and call out to him while we have the opportunity, because there is a time limit on this invitation. There is no guarantee of tomorrow for any of us, so don’t miss this golden opportunity to sit at God’s table while you can.
Forsake and Turn
Just like the people in Isaiah’s day, we too need to forsake the wrong things in our lives and turn to God in confession and repentance. This is crucial to removing the barrier between God and us if we want to sit at his table.
To take your seat, you need to ‘wash your hands’
To wash your hands and purify your heart means to forsake your own ways – your sins. As you do this, you turn to God and receive His mercy and forgiveness.
It’s a mystery why God should want to come dine with any of us for eternity. As such, we simply need to accept we won’t have all the answers to the ‘why’ questions and must humbly accept that His thoughts and ways are far beyond our understanding (vv.8-9). God is not a puzzle waiting to be solved, but a mystery deserving to be adored.
What we do know stares us in the face. If you are thirsty and recognise a deep spiritual hunger, you are invited to a meal for two, where God will satisfy you with the richest fare. And if you accept God’s invite you will discover two of the most sought after ingredients in life; joy and peace, which are always on the menu.
Come dine with God
Come – Come and accept the invitation
Buy – Buy into this, but it will cost you nothing
Eat – You pull up a chair and get stuck in
Listen – Pay attention to what God is saying to you, incline your ear to His word
Seek – Seek God with all your heart while He is still available
Call – Engage in dialogue and get on your knees while He is near
Forsake – Forsake you own way in sin, confess and repent
Turn – Turn to God who sits at the table waiting to have mercy and to freely forgive