The Thirst of the Soul Quenched
Isaiah 55:1
Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat…

Compare the assurances and invitations of Christ, in John 4:13, 14; John 6:35; John 7:37, 38. It is singular to note that the prophet chose a form of speech very common in the East. In Jerusalem the shopkeepers cry to the passers-by, "Ho, every one that hath money, let him come and buy!" "Ho, such a one, come and buy!" They indeed expect to get full value, though they offer for nothing. God intends a free and sovereign gift.

I. THIRST. A figure for unresting desire, setting us upon pursuit and effort. Thirsting differs from hungering in this - the hungering man will quietly lie down and die; the thirsting man will spend himself in mad strivings. Illustrate from desert scenes. So thirsting is the more impressive figure of a man's condition. Everybody is eagerly wanting something. Of this there are both painful and pleasing signs. Illustrate how this thirst takes special religious forms at special times, as in opening youth, seasons of sickness, scenes of revival, death of first friend, as in cases of Luther and Norman Macleod. This restless soul-thirsting is

(1) man's suffering;

(2) man's glory;

(3) man's hope.

He may satisfy the thirsting, but it would be a sign of soul-death simply to lose it. The thirst of the soul is ever for one satisfaction - it is thirst for God.

II. THIRSTING AGAIN. This is the result of all attempts to quench the thirst of the soul by anything earth can offer. There are lines upon which temporary supplies seem to come. Man offers "cups of cold water."

1. Thirst quenched for a time in worldly pleasure. Illustrate from the familiar picture, 'The Pursuit of Pleasure.' There never were such strivings for sense-gratification as there are now. Life makes a loud noise to drown the soul's cries.

2. Thirst quenched for a time in the externalities of religion. Satiated with pleasure, men sometimes turn to religion. Illustrate from experience of Ignatius Loyola. Also see confidence in holy wells and shrines. There is a fascination at first in ceremonial religion, but it soon pails. You can soon empty these cups, and then there is nothing for your thirsty soul when you come again.

III. THIRSTING NEVERMORE. Christ does not destroy the thirsting, but sets us down close beside the living spring. And all the bitterness is gone, if the supply is close beside us, and we may drink when we please. Apply to the soul's love. The love of Christ is the satisfying response. To the soul's trust. The work of Christ is the satisfying response. To the soul's ideal. The Person of Christ is the satisfying response. To the soul's anxiety about the future. The promises of Christ are the satisfying response. The soul that has Christ has an upspringing well beside him; he lives close near to the waters of life. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

WEB: "Come, everyone who thirsts, to the waters! Come, he who has no money, buy, and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

The Spiritual Appetite and its Gratification
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