Isaiah 55:2
Why spend money on that which is not bread, and your labor on that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of foods.
Sermons
Foolish InvestmentsW.M. Statham Isaiah 55:2
Vain Expenditure on ThingsR. Tuck Isaiah 55:2
The Messianic BlessingsE. Johnson Isaiah 55:1-5
A Free SalvationIsaiah 55:1-13
A Gracious InvitationJ. Parsons.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buy and EatJ. Trapp.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buyers Will Show that They PossessW. Cleaves, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buying of ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buying Without MoneyIsaiah 55:1-13
Christ's Gracious TermsO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
ComeJ. Trapp.Isaiah 55:1-13
Come to the WatersJ. Trapp.Isaiah 55:1-13
Come! Come!T. De Flirt Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Driving a Trade with ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Food a Supreme NeedSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 55:1-13
God Eager for SinnersIsaiah 55:1-13
Gospel Blessings to be BoughtW. Cleaves, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Gospel Invitation Without RestrictionJ. R. Macduff, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Invitation; Expostulation; EntreatyO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Man's Misery and God's CallG.A. Chadwick, D.D.Isaiah 55:1-13
No Coinage Can Buy Spiritual GoodA. Maclaran, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Soul ThirstHomilistIsaiah 55:1-13
Spiritual MerchandiseO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Spiritual ThirstO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Benefit of Trading with ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Best BargainMonthly Visitor.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Cries of the Water-CarriersF. Sessions.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Desire to Bring Something to ChristIsaiah 55:1-13
The Fulness of Christ Offered to the Needy SinnerO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Gospel First Addressed to Human NecessityJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Gracious InvitationT. D. Witherspoon, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Great ProclamationA. Mallard, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Jews in Exile Prosperous Yet ThirstingJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Proclamation and Expostulation of MercyJ. S. Swan.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Spiritual Appetite and its GratificationLira of FaithIsaiah 55:1-13
The True ImperialismJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Too Valuable to be BoughtChristian Budget.Isaiah 55:1-13
True Satisfaction in ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Trying to Buy SalvationChristian Budget.Isaiah 55:1-13
Water for the ThirstyO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Water, Wine and MilkF. Delitzsch, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Willingness to Buy of ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Wine and MilkR. Jones, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Without Money and Without PriceIsaiah 55:1-13
Without Money and Without PriceO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Without Money and Without PriceChristian Budget.Isaiah 55:1-13
An Unsuitable DietMrs. H. W. Smith.Isaiah 55:2-3
Diligent Hearkening to ChristIsaiah 55:2-3
FatnessIsaiah 55:2-3
Feeding on the WordIsaiah 55:2-3
Folly and WisdomR. W. Pritchard, Ph. D.Isaiah 55:2-3
Food for the SoulH. W. Thomas, D. D.Isaiah 55:2-3
Foolish Neglect and Fruitless LabourO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:2-3
God's Call Should be HeededO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:2-3
God's Provision for Man's NeedJ. Higgins.Isaiah 55:2-3
HearkeningO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:2-3
Hearkening and EatingA. S. Gumbart.Isaiah 55:2-3
No BreadA. S. Gumbart.Isaiah 55:2-3
The False and True in PleasureHomilistIsaiah 55:2-3
The Folly of Man as a WorkerHomilistIsaiah 55:2-3
The Folly of Pursuing that Which Does not SatisfyO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:2-3
The Path of LifeIsaiah 55:2-3
The Soul's Best FoodIsaiah 55:2-3
Wasted StrengthW. Clarkson Isaiah 55:2, 3
Weighing MoneyJ. A. Alexander.Isaiah 55:2-3


Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? This is man's great misery, that he has the "deceived heart ' which leads him to false investments.

I. SOUL-SATISFACTION. The soul is made for God, and there is no bread that will satisfy man but God himself. "I am the living Bread," says Christ. Bread of fortune, bread of gold, bread of aesthetic beauty, bread of worldly honour, - these only satisfy the outward man, and leave "the hidden man of the heart" hungry and starven. Yet men spend their money - that is, their time, strength, enthusiasm, and energy - on sham bread.

II. SOUL-ATTENTION. "Hearken diligently unto me." For God has spoken - in nature, in conscience, by the prophets and by his own Son, the express Image of his Person.

1. God, who made the soul, knows all its mysterious depths and needs.

2. God, who redeemed the soul, knows that without pardon man knows no peace, and without life in God he knows no blessedness. The "delights" of a godly man attest the change in his nature - he "joys in God, by whom he has received the atonement." - W.M.S.









Wherefore do ye spend money.
In the first clause there is reference to the primitive custom of weighing instead of counting money, from which have arisen several of the most familiar denominations, such as the Hebrew "shekel," the Greek "talent," the French "livre," and the English "pound." The essential idea is that of paying.

(J. A. Alexander.)

Homilist.
I. HERE IS THE RECOGNITION OF THE FACT THAT MAN IS A VOLUNTARY WORKER. "The appeal implies that he is" free both in the expenditure of his "money and the prosecution of his "labour.' Every part of the universe, works, but man only is a free worker. He works, not as material bodies work, by an outward force, nor as brutes, by blind impulses, but by his own deliberate purpose, — by choice and plan. There are at least four, considerations which bind, with indissoluble bonds, our faith to the doctrine of man's voluntary action.

1. It is not impossible for the Almighty to create a being that shall be wholly free in action.

2. There is an antecedent probability that He would create such a being. A creature endowed with this independency of action would of all creatures be most like Himself, most fitted to show forth His glory. And as He created the universe for the manifestation of Himself, would it not be probable that, having the power to do would it now look to you," says the philosophic Saxon, King Alfred, "if there were any very powerful king, and he had no freemen in all his kingdom, but that all were slaves?" "Then," said I, "it would be thought by me neither right not reasonable if men that were in a servile condition only, should attend upon him." "Then," quoth he, "it would be more unnatural if God, in all His kingdom, had no free creature under his power." Therefore,. He made two rational creatures, free. angels. and men, and gave them the great gift of freedom.

3. The mental constitution of man seems to provide for this freedom of action. Man is so formed that he always acts from purpose.

4. The consciousness of universal man attests the fact of human freedom.

II. HERE IS THE RECOGNITION OF THE FACT THAT MAN AS A VOLUNTARY WORKER SHOULD AIM AT THE ATTAINMENT OF MORALLY STRENGTHENING AND SATISFYING GOOD. What is the moral bread? Ask first what is the strength of the soul, — the moral stamina? Godliness. Where is the "bread" which both strengthens and satisfies the soul? Christ says, "I am the Bread of life."

III. HERE IS THE RECOGNITION OF THE FACT THAT MAN, AS A VOLUNTARY WORKER, FREQUENTLY MISAPPLIES HIS POWER. He spends his "money" for that which is not "bread," and his labour for that which "satisfieth not." What is it to expend your property and labour in vain?

1. To strive after power as the chief end is to do so.

2. To strive after wealth as the chief end is to do so.

3. To strive after knowledge as the chief end is to do so. Neither scientific ideas, nor poetic creations, nor artistic embellishments are bread.

4. To strive after happiness as the chief end, is to do so. From this subject we may infer —

(1)The immense amount of waste human labour that is constantly going on in the world.

(2)The well-being of man consists not in the form of his labour, but in the principle that inspires and controls it.

(3)The exquisite fitness of Christianity to man's condition.

(Homilist.)

I. A FOOLISH COURSE TO BE AVOIDED,

II. A WISE METHOD TO BE PURSUED.

(R. W. Pritchard, Ph. D.)

What is man's way of meeting this great need? Spending money and labour for that which does not satisfy; in other words, using every means he can command, save the only right and true means, to satisfy the cravings of his immortal nature; a course that will prove fatal to his deathless interests if persisted in. But God meets him and —

I. CHALLENGES THIS FATAL ERROR. "Wherefore do ye spend money," etc. The "wherefore" of the text implies three things on the part of God, — benign condescension; surprise; and gentle chiding. True life is impossible where the bread of life is not eaten.

1. Observation proves this.

2. Experience sustains the same truth.

3. History illustrates the same fact.

4. The Bible affirms the same doctrine.

II. MEN WHO SEEK THESE THINGS AS THE HIGHEST GOOD ARE IN A STATE OF CONSTANT HUNGER AND UNREST. It is not bread, it does not "satisfy."

III. GOD'S PLAN OF MEETING THE SOUL'S TRUE WANTS. Three terms are used of similar import, and that are of first importance to us, if we would put ourselves into harmony with the plan of God in relation to our good, "Hearken," "hear," and "incline your ear." These terms imply humility, docility and reverent attention.

1. God credits man with the capacity to receive and obey His communications.

2. God speaks to man, revealing His will, unfolding His way of meeting the deepest needs of our nature.

3. These Divine communications relate to our highest good. "Eat ye that which is good."

4. These provisions are richly abundant. "Let your soul delight itself in fatness." "Delight' and "fatness ' are two very prolific words and supply the fancy with almost boundless range.

5. There is life through obedience to the Divine plan. "Hear, and your soul shall live."

6. The blessings God offers are lasting as they are excellent. "I will make an everlasting covenant with you," etc. "An everlasting covenant" points to God's unchangeableness, and to His being ever ready to redeem all the pledges of His love and mercy. What should be the soul's attitude towards God while He makes these rich communications? "Hearken diligently," "Incline your ear," "Come unto him." How striking the order! The attention is first arrested, then absorbed, then the soul draws near to' God with profound interest in the revelation, ready to take the offered grace.

(J. Higgins.)

Homilist.
I. THE FALSE.

1. The false is expensive. All false pleasure is sought from one or other of the following sources — sensual gratification, secular wealth, or popular fame — each very expensive. They cost what is infinitely more precious than gold — time, energy, moral peace, mental independency, and frequently health.

2. The false is not sustaining: it is not "bread." Were it obtained, it would not strengthen. It does not give mental strength: sensuality enervates the intellect. The love of gain makes man a tactician, not a thinker. The breath of mammon is poison to a free intellect, and the love of fame fills the mind with the unhealthy sentiment of vanity; nor does it give spiritual strength — strength to resist temptation — to bear trials — to help humanity — to serve God — to face death. It destroys this.

3. The false is not satisfactory. " Satisfieth not."

II. THE TRUE.

1. True pleasure consists in spiritual communications from God. "Hearken diligently unto Me," etc. Three things are implied in this language: —(1) That God has made spiritual communications to man. This is a fact. They are the substance of the Bible.(2) That man has a capacity to appreciate these communications. A wonderful argument this for the native dignity of the soul.(3) That to appreciate these communications requires the most diligent study. The Bible is a difficult book, challenging the concentration of intellectual power.

2. That the pleasure thus derived is of the highest conceivable description(1) Essentially excellent — "good."(2) Abundantly sufficient — "delights itself in fatness."(3) Spiritually quickening — "your soul shall live."

3. That the continuation of this, the highest pleasure, is guaranteed by the solemn assurance of God. "And I will make an everlasting covenant with you.' Here is a pledge of its perpetuity. If a promise is not fulfilled, it must be for one of three reasons: either that the author was insincere when it was made, or that he subsequently changed his mind, or lacked the necessary power to redeem the pledge. Neither of these suppositions is admissible; therefore, this true pleasure is everlasting.

(Homilist.)

1. Everything that has life must have food.

2. Man has the nature and wants of an animal. He also has a higher nature that takes hold of truth and God. He has, therefore, to care for a double life.

3. The text means that we put much into one side of life, hoping vainly for an equivalent of happiness on the other. The soul must have other food.

4. For this want there is a kind of borderland provision in Church forms But religion cannot tarry in this borderland.

5. So we rise to the truth that the soups life is in God.

(H. W. Thomas, D. D.)

1. All the good that Christ doth offer, and all the gracious terms upon which He doth offer are sometimes slighted and refused by sinners.

2. Sinners are earnestly labouring and trading for vain and unprofitable things, when the great things of Christ are offered to them.

3. All the cost which men lay out, and all the pains which men do take for salvation from anything besides Christ, or in any other way than Christ's way, are utterly fruitless.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

' —

I. ALL OTHER THINGS BESIDES THOSE WHICH CHRIST DOTH OFFER, ARE VAIN AND UNPROFITABLE.

II. SINNERS DO LABORIOUSLY PURSUE THEM, when yet Christ doth offer unto them the chiefest good for their souls.

III. WHY SINNERS DO THIS.

IV. THE EXTREME FOLLY OF THIS.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

" — The Hebrew term, "for that which is not bread," reads more correctly, "for that which is no-bread." It means that for which men spend their energies is "no-bread," it is the negative of bread; it is the very opposite of bread. It is that which not only does not alleviate our hunger, but makes us more hungry! It does not fill our emptiness, but makes us more empty than ever. Not only does it fail to satisfy, but it makes us more dissatisfied! Just as salt water not only fails to quench the thirst, but aggravates it.

(A. S. Gumbart.)

Hearken diligently unto Me.
Two thoughts are brought to our attention, as indicating the steps by which we bring ourselves into that blessed experience in which we may be conscious of having received the gift of God.

1. We must listen diligently. "Hearken diligently unto Me.' That is, hearken with intense desire and eagerness. In the third verse God says: "Incline your ear, and come unto Me.' This word "incline" is a strong word; it carries with it the idea of stretching the neck, as one anxiously, eagerly listening, or as a, hound in pursuing game.

2. The second thing is, Eat. " Eat ye that which is good."

(A. S. Gumbart.)

There are six arguments which I would make use of to persuade you to embrace this counsel.

1. Christ offers you the best things — better things than the world can afford you.

2. Christ offers unto you the things that are best for you.

3. You may have these earthly things upon better terms if you could close with the things which Christ doth offer.

4. Christ alone is a portion, infinitely better than all the world alone.

5. You will lose Christ, and all these things of the world too, by neglecting Christ, and preferring before Him these things of the world.

6. You cannot drive both these trades together.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

There are five things which that word doth denote.

1. A taking into our ears sounds, words, messages, reports, spoken unto us.

2. Sometimes to hear is the same with to understand.

3. Sometimes the same with to believe.

4. Sometimes to regard and approve.

5. Sometimes to obey, to follow what is said.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

I. WHAT THIS DILIGENT HEARKENING TO CHRIST DOTH CONTAIN. In it He diligently hearkens to Christ.

1. Who doth carefully and regardfully observe Christ in His gracious offers.

2. Who seriously considers all the gracious offers of Christ.

3. Who judges highly of the offers of Christ.

4. Who obeys the voice of Christ.

II. HOW IT MAY APPEAR THAT JESUS CHRIST IS EARNEST AND IMPORTUNATE WITH SINNERS, diligently to hearken unto Him.

1. By the gradations of His dealings with sinners.

(1)He opens and proclaims the way of life and happiness to them (John 14:6).

(2)He presents this salvation to them (Acts 13:26).

(3)He encourages them to come from the certainty of allgood, from the graciousness of His own terms "Come, and buy without money, and from the acceptance of their persons (John 6:37).

(4)He entreats them to hearken unto Him (2 Corinthians 5:20).

(5)He commands them authoritatively to obey His voice (1 John 3:23).

(6)He allures them with all sorts of promises.

(7)He shows them the greatness and inevitableness of their danger, if they refuse to hearken (John 8:24; Hebrews 2:3).

(8)He expressly threatens a peremptory damnation, if sinners will not hearken (Mark 16:16).

(9)He furnishes ambassadors with all sorts of gifts, to enable them to deal, and treat, and woo, and work on sinners to hearken.

(10)He is content to pass by all the days of ignorance.

(11)He lets a light into their minds which shows them a personal and absolute need of Himself.

(12)He disproves, confutes and shames all the carnal arguments of sinners.

(13)He affects the hearts and wills of sinners by many strivings of His Spirit.

(14)He rouses the drowsy, careless sinner by outward special afflictions.

(15)He breaks up the consciences of sinners, so that the terms of God fall on them.

(16)He cuts off all their confidence in this distressed condition, so that no course shall ease or quiet or help.

(17)He takes the opportunity, and, in this broken condition, sends messengers of hope and mercy to the sinner (Acts 9:10, 11).

(18)He answers all the fears and doubts of sinners, both in respect of Himself (1 John 2:1; Revelation 3:20); and in respect of themselves — assuring them that neither the multitude of former sins nor abundance of present wants shall hinder mercy and salvation, if they will hearken and come.

(19)He advances instances how sinners have fared by hearkening and coming to Him, e.g. the jailor, Mary Magdalene, Saul of Tarsus (1 Timothy 1:16).

(20)If none of these prevail with sinners to hearken, then doth Christ take His utter farewell of them with sighs and tears (Luke 19:41, 42).

2. By the qualities of His voice. It is —

(1)a plain voice, easy to be understood.

(2)A high voice (John 7:37).

(3)Long and patient (Romans 10:21).

(4)In season and out of season.

(5)Quick. To the ear, thence to the mind, thence to the conscience.

(6)Expostulating.

(7)Very pressing.

III. WHAT JESUS CHRIST IS SO IMPORTUNATE WITH SINNERS TO HEARKEN UNTO HIM. There are reasons for this:

1. In respect of sinners.

(1)Because of their dulness and slowness.

(2)Because sinners are careless.

(3)Because they are very unteachable.

(4)Because they are backward to hearken, and accept His gracious offers.

(5)Because they are very perverse and desperate (Zechariah 7:11, 12; Acts 7:51).

2. In respect of Christ Himself.(1) Because He is Christ, full of compassion.(2) Because He knows the condition of our souls:

(a)their worth,

(b)their lost condition,

(c)the wrath which will certainly befall disobedient souls,

(d)wherein real happiness lies,

(e)the difficulty of gaining souls,

(f)what power Satan hath with our souls.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

Eat ye that which is good. —
I. Here is FOOD Eat ye that which is good."

1. How is it presented to us? Freely. There was a word about buying; but that was soon covered up with, "Buy without money and without price.' While it is thus presented freely as to any labour with which to procure it, it is also presented freely as to its quality, its highest quality. You are not permitted to drink freely of water, and then to purchase wine. The richest dainties of God's house are as free as the bread He gives to hungry souls. The only limitation is no limitation at all: " Ho, every one that thirsteth!"

2. What is this food?

(1)The Word of God.

(2)Better still, the incarnate Word of God.

(3)The grace of God.

3. What is the nature of this food? It is in every sense of the word "good." It is satisfying. It is pure; no harm can ever come by eating it. This heavenly food is good for you at any time, good for you living, good for you dying. All other foods that men seek after are unsubstantial; they can surfeit, but they cannot satisfy; they can cloy, but they cannot content; but the food that has come down from heaven, if a man does but take it into himself, shall be the best food he ever ate. Moreover, this food is described here as being fatness. " Let thy soul delight itself in fatness." Within the Word of God, there are certain choicer truths; in Christ, there are certain choicer joys; in grace, there are certain choicer experiences than men at first realize.

II. Here is FEEDING. One of the most important words in our text is that little word "eat." Food is of no use until it is eaten. You ought not to need any instruction on this point. We take a great many orphans into the Orphanage, and some of them are very ignorant, and we have to teach them a great many things; but we have no class for teaching them to eat. If men were hungry, they would know how to eat, if they had the bread. It is because men are not really hungry on account of sin that they come and ask us, "What do you mean by the eating?" Yet it may be that some are sincere in asking the question, so I will answer it.

1. To eat is to believe.

2. To eat is chiefly to appropriate.

3. The full process of eating includes digestion. How do I digest the Word of God? When I meditate upon it.

4. Feeding also means trusting yourself wholly to Christ.

III. WELCOME. What does the Lord say? "Eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

1. Here is no stint. It is not said, "Here is a pair of scales; here is a plate; here is a knife. The law allows so many ounces of meat to you, just so much, and you must not have half-an-ounce over. Nothing of the kind. You are just taken to the table, and the exhortation is, "Eat to your heart's content."

2. As there is no stint, so there is no reserve. It is not said, " Now you may eat those two things; but you must not touch that nice fat morsel over there; that is for the particular favourite, not for you." No, when God invites you to His table, you may have anything there is on the table.

3. So, too, there is no end to the feast. " Keep on delighting yourself in fatness. You will never use it all up." I read of a country once, though I hardly believed the description of it; for it was said that the grass grew faster than the cows could eat it. Well, there is a country that I know of, where the grass grows faster than the sheep can eat it. You may eat all you will out of the Divine Word; but you will find that there is more left than you have taken; and it seems as if there were more after you had taken it, as if the grass grew deeper as you fed more ravenously upon it.,

IV. DELIGHT.

1. There is no peril in holy joy, in delighting yourself in God's Word, and delighting yourself in Christ.

2. There will be no idleness or selfishness produced by this fat feeding.

3. May you also attain a sense of holy security!

4. Then, may you come into a state of perfect rest!

5. May you also come into a state of complete resignation to the will of God!

6. May you be filled with a happy expectancy.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE REASON FOR THE EXHORTATION IN OUR TEXT: "Eat. ye that which" is good and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

1. The exceeding bountifulness of God in Christ Jesus. The invitation here given IS in accordance with the character of the God who gives it.

2. The abundant provision that He has made for the supply of our needs. If any of you prepared a feast, it would be very grievous to you if your friends did not eat what you had provided. It is the very heart of God speaking in these words, and it is the provision of God's grace claiming to be consumed. — God's love pleading that what He has provided so bountifully should not be lost or wasted.

3. The Divine desire for fellowship. Almost always, when fellowship is spoken of in relation to God, expressions which concern eating are used. Fellowship begins, as it were, at the passover, at the eating of the lamb. In the tabernacle in the wilderness, the offerings were not all burnt upon the altar; many of them were partaken of by both the offerer and the priest, and by God as represented by the devouring flame. So, when Jesus instituted that blessed memorial supper, "He said to His disciples, concerning the bread, "Take,. eat;" and, concerning the cup, "Drink ye all of it." When, in the Revelation, He said to the angel of the church in Laodicea, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." you know how He goes on to say, "If any man hear My voice, and open, the door, I will come-in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. This appears to be God's favourite image to express fellowship.

4. Our .exceeding great necessities. You must eat, so "eat ye that which is good." Your soul needs the best food, so "let your soul delight itself in fatness," in the fat and dainty morsels which the great God, who understands us even better than we understand ourselves, has so bountifully provided for us.

5. Our extreme foolishness. What a stupid animal man must be to need to be told to eat, and be urged to eat that which is good! The little lamb, in the meadow, has scarcely come into the world before it finds out where its mother's milk is, and very soon it begins to crop the tender herbage, and to find food for itself. Most creatures, by what we call instinct, discover their own natural food; but here is man, so foolish, so mad, so much more wild than the wild ass's colt, that he needs to be told to eat, spiritually. One part of human foolishness lies in the fact that we so often seek that which is not good for us, so that the Lord has to say to us, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?" Man is described in Scripture as feeding upon ashes. It is not only that we are willing to eat that which is evil, but that we are unwilling to eat that which is good. Many persons will hear that which is good, and will even assent to our declaration that it is good; yet they do not eat it. What is spiritual eating? It is the inward reception of the truth of God into the soul. To hear the truth is, as it were, to see the bread. To think upon the truth is, as it were, to cut the bread, and put it on the plate. But this will never nourish any man; he must take the bread into his inward parts, and digest and assimilate it. There is this folly even about God's own children, that they do not eat that, which is good according. . to the lavish, inexhaustible fulness provided by God. Let your soul delight itself in fatness. How very few minutes in a day most of us spend in feeding our souls I

6. Our fears. There is many a child of God, who longs for spiritual food, but he is afraid that he would be guilty of presumption if he ate it; so, when there is a very fat piece that is just going into his mouth, he says, "No, that cannot be for me," and he draws back from it. Just look at the text: "Let your soul delight itself in fatness."

II. THE BENEFITS OF OBEYING THE COMMAND OF THE TEXT.

1. The pleasure of it. "Let your soul delight itself in fatness.

2. The great preserving power of good spiritual food. It helps to keep us out of temptation.

3. Spiritual food comforts mourners. The analogy of this will be found in Nehemiah 8:9, 10. It was of this that Mary sang, "He hath filled the hungry with good things."

4. It revives the fainting ones.

5. Spiritual eating is also a great strength for service.

6. It fits us to feed others. Ezekiel had to go and speak to the house of Israel in the name of the Lord; do you remember his preparation for that task, — the college to which he went? He saw a hand, which held a roll of a book, and a voice said to him, "Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel." He cannel; preach till he has eaten the roll. I believe that, in the courts of law, young men have to eat themselves into the profession; beside all other qualifications, they must eat a certain number of dinners before they can be fully certificated. It is a strange regulation with regard to earthly courts, hut it is a right and proper thing in the courts of heaven.

7. It is the best mode of fellowship. Feed on the Word of God; especially feed on the Incarnate Word; otherwise, you cannot possibly enter into true spiritual fellowship with God.

8. Feeding upon the Word is the best way of promoting praise. You know how the 103rd Psalm begins: "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Then, a little further on, the psalmist says, "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." A hungry soul cannot sing well; the soul that best sings the praises of God is the one that has delighted itself with the fatness of the Divine provision.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

"in the Scriptures is used to denote the richest food (Genesis 27:28-39; Job 36:16; Psalm 65:11), and hence is an emblem of the rich and abundant blessings resulting from the favour of God (Psalm 36:8; Psalm 63:5).

( A. Barnes, D. D.)

Professor George Adam Smith talks about what he considers the greatest pathos of our life on earth — it is the fact that so many million souls are unconsciously starving right within reach of the food they need. They have only to stretch out their hands and take the bread of life, but their hands are glued to their sides.

Some German women have fallen into the habit of "naschen," i.e. of nibbling comfits and cakes all day long. They carry "cornets " of bon-bons in their pockets, and nibble at them continually. No one wonders that they suffer greatly from disordered digestions, and become sallow, and irritable, and old before their time. And does not plain common-sense teach us that, when people feed their souls upon a diet of novels, or of gossip, or of frivolities of every kind, they must necessarily suffer from languor of spiritual life, debility of spiritual digestion, failure of vitality, and a creeping moral paralysis.

(Mrs. H. W. Smith.)

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