Here's a verse by verse study of one of the
greatest "invitations" in the whole Bible. Let it speak to your
LESSON 1 ... ISAIAH 55:1
I think it's one of the greatest invitations
in the whole Book of Isaiah. (And Isaiah is nearly a "Gospel"
unto itself! Just think of the great 53rd chapter alone!)
I am specifically speaking of Isaiah 55:1.
"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
Just read it again!
Have you even seen such lovely language of
It reminds me of something Jesus said in
Matthew 11:28 --- "Come unto me, all ye
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Then He immediately added even to that great
promise: "Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find
rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29
Again our Isaiah verse here reminds me of the
last great invitation in the Bible! Revelation 22:17 ---
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst
come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life
Today we shall just look at the little
In Hebrew it is spelled "hoi." It is
(according to a Hebrew grammar text) "an exclamation arousing
The Lord wants us to hear the Gospel
That's why He has sent preachers of the
"Hoi" also involves a touch of sympathy,
according to Hebrew scholars. God invites us to partake of His
Grace out of a love and concern for us as sinners!
And some teachers even go so far as to say
the our little word implies "pity" on those invited! Pity is
defined as "sorrow aroused by the suffering of another." I
deserved Hell forever! God knew of my just fate ... and offered
Ho! Come to Jesus!
But in the King James Bible "hoi" is
translated "woe" 36 of 52 times! Woe! Come to the waters and
drink! That nearly makes it sound like a warning, doesn't it?
It is a warning.
Salvation is free ... but judgment is sure!
Be warned ... and be saved.
Jesus said in John 3:36 ---
"He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not
see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Warning
... if unsaved, you face God's wrath! Come to Jesus and
Here's another example ... from Jesus again!
John 3:18 --- "He that believeth on him is
not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten
Son of God." Condemned already! How very fearful!
I am so glad that before this great
invitation was ever extended, God took careful pains to get the
attention of a lost and dying world!
Come and drink of the water of life freely!
Praise the Lord.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 2 ... ISAIAH
I can't get Isaiah 55:1 off my mind! (What a
Here it is again:
"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."
It is an invitation for sure!
It is for those who "thirst." The first time
that verb (Hebrew = "tszame") is used in the Bible (Exodus 17:3)
the Jews are thirsting (and grumbling about it) in the desert
after they have left Egypt. The Lord told Moses what to do.
Climb the rock ... strike it with the rod ... and water will
flow to quench the thirst of the dying people! What a picture!
We as sinners are also dying of thirst (for the Water of Life)!
Our tongues are sinfully loose too! God sent His Son Jesus (The
Rock) Who was smitten of God (via the Rod on the Cross of
Calvary) whereby Water flowed! Everlasting Water! And if we
drink ... our thirst is quenched! To me this gives the "thirst"
of Isaiah 55:1 new meaning!
Notice the word "waters" is plural!
(Masculine plural! It is speaking of Jesus!) The "plural"
suggests plenty of waters! An abundant supply!
Someone invited me to count the "imperatives"
(commands) in this fairly short verse. I did. There are six!
You count them too! Here they are: Come! Come (again)! Buy!
Eat! Come (a third time)! And ... Buy (again)! In Bible
numerology "six" is the symbol for lost mankind ... without
Christ and without hope! Look what God says to sinners! Come!
Be ye saved!
Salvation here is pictured as a command! BUT
it is also a gift!
The first Bible use of the verb here
translated (3 times) "come" is found in Genesis 2:14 where the
River Hiddekel (meaning "rapid") GOETH toward the east! The
verb "goeth" is our verb "come" in this text! God's "come"
should be answered by our "going" toward the east, the place of
sunrise! (I really should say the place of SON-RISE!) And upon
hearing God's great "come" ... we should respond rapidly too!
The first time it is used as an imperative
is in Genesis 29:7 where one is told to GO and feed the sheep.
(Here God's "come" is answered by another "go!" Go feed the
sheep!) That's pretty good sheep food! Jesus is COME and
calleth for thee! (John 11:28)
The verb "buy" (Hebrew = "shabar") comes from
a word that means to deal in grain ... but in this sense: grain
that is "broken" to pieces! We can enjoy the bread (the Bread
of Life ... Jesus) because He was broken on Calvary for our
By the way ... how did that word "buy" get
into a text about the free Grace of God? Hear me. Salvation is
a gift to us through our Lord Jesus Christ ... BUT a vast
redemption Price had to be paid for us to receive this gift of
eternal life! There was payment made! Propitiation was
accomplished! The Blood of Jesus bought us! In Acts 20:28 Paul
mentions ... "The Church of God, which he
hath purchased with His own Blood."
And the verb "eat" is in Hebrew "akal." This
is where man first got into trouble (in the Garden of Eden)!
God told Adam and Eve they could EAT freely of all the garden
except one tree! Disobedience in eating plunged us all into the
sea of iniquity! Therefore our Lord God provided us again the
right thing to eat! Salvation!
By the way ... water is essential! Wine and
milk are luxuries! God here freely offers both! He has come to
give us life ... but not just life barely! No! Life more
abundantly! Jesus said that in John 10:10 ---
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have
it more abundantly."
The noun money is most often translated
"silver" in the King James Version. (Money = 112 times! Silver
= 287 times!) But our money (silver) will not redeem us! No
money, please! Peter says this best:
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible
things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation
received by tradition from your fathers; But with the
precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and
without spot." 1 Peter 1:18-19
And that noun "price" is first used in
Deuteronomy 23:18 where God rejects a filthy price being offered
to Him! No price we can pay is worthy for salvation! God
abhors it! The only acceptable price is Jesus. And the
transaction is finished, praise the Lord!
I do believe we have found the "Gospel" in
Water ... a necessity!
Wine ... a joy!
Milk ... a source of strength!
It's all found ... in Jesus!
Praise His dear Name!
Lord willing, more tomorrow!
LESSON 3 ... ISAIAH
Today we shall study Isaiah 55:2. (Or at
least part of it!)
"Wherefore do ye spend money for that
which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth
not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good,
and let your soul delight itself in fatness."
That first question in our verse is amazing!
It accuses the people of Isaiah's day of having the wrong
God has just offered water, wine and milk
without charge (verse 1)! Surely the bread is free too! Their
concept of bread would be that of the "manna" God (freely) sent
down from heaven for 40 years! These people are literally
trying to "buy" something that God has offered to freely give
them! Sounds like things today.
Salvation (the Bread of Life, the Lord Jesus)
is free by grace! The Gift of God!
Yet mankind strives to buy it or earn it via
baptism or good living or financial gifts or religious deeds of
The "money" of the Israelites is going to
trivial things ... while the big issue (their salvation) remains
ignored! The verb for "spend" is really their word "to weigh."
They would weigh their silver or gold to tell how much was being
given for a product. What do things "weigh" in your life? How
much do you spend for pleasure? (Then ... how much does
pleasure "weigh" to you?) Or health care? Or groceries? The
"weight" paid for those things determines their value.
And that is the very concept God uses for our
estimate of Him! What is the "glory" of God to you? How much
"glory" does your Saviour have in your life? The noun glory ("kabod")
in Hebrew means "weight!"
The first use of the word "bread' (in Hebrew
= lechem) in Scripture is in Genesis 3:19 where man by the sweat
of his brow earns his living! So there are two kinds of
"bread." The kind that one must earn by labour ...and the kind
God gives freely. One is temporary ... the other eternal!
The word "labour" is "gegiya" and means hard
work! (Its verbal root means "to gasp!" To work so hard you are
out of breath!) It is only used 17 times in the whole Bible!
But even then ... such labour does not
"satisfy." The word means "to eat to one's fill." To be
satiated. (To fill to satisfaction) Using this word ... God's
man describes Israel in Haggai 1:6 --- "Ye
have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye
have not enough;
ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but
there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages
to put it into a bag with holes."
You could look over the first half of this
second verse and write the word: INSUFFICIENT! Man's attempts
are insufficient! He cannot save himself or even help save
himself! Only God can do that!
Lord willing, more tomorrow.
In fact, I am planning a whole series on
Isaiah 55:1-3. It will be about five lessons.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 4 ... ISAIAH
The Lord today asks the people to "hearken
diligently" to Him.
"hearken diligently unto
me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight
itself in fatness." Isaiah 55:2
In order to be "saved," one must hear
the Word of the Lord. That's what "hearken diligently" means.
"Shama" means to listen (with interest or concern)! The term is
a Qal infinitive verb ... suggesting continuous action! The
Lord asks us to hear him in a habitual manner!
Listen to how Jesus says we are to be saved.
John 5:24 --- "Verily, verily, I say unto
you, He that heareth my
word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting
life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from
death unto life."
"Eat" (in Hebrew = "akal") is a Qal
imperative verb --- a command from the Lord! Salvation is also a
command! For example, here are a couple of "salvation"
imperatives: Isaiah 45:22 --- "Look unto
me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am
God, and there is none else."
God here compares salvation to eating a
meal! Again, listen to Jesus. John 6:53 ---
"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of
man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."
And in John 6:51 --- "I
am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat
of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will
give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
The Lord here calls His plan of Salvation
"good!" Eat that which is "good!" The Hebrew adjective "tob"
means pleasant, agreeable, excellent, appropriate, or even well!
I can agree with that!
God further advises that He offers "delight"
in our lives! Salvation is delightful! "Anag" is the word used
here for delight. The root background of the word is "soft" or
"delicate!" (Dainty or pampered!) God's salvation surely does
"pet" us very well! (Once it is translated "sport" in Isaiah
57:4.) Our very salvation should be a constant source of
encouragement to us!
"Fatness" means "deshen." It is the Hebrew
word for "ashes." (Ashes = 7 times and fatness = 6 times)
These meanings are derived from the idea that God loves the
"fat" in sacrificial animals ... which are sacrificed and burned
unto Him! Then the fat is turned into ashes! So the "fatness"
of our salvation is given us to enjoy by means of the
Sacrificial death of the Son of God!
What a series of promises and lovely word
pictures concerning our salvation!
Well, I said "our" salvation. Really it's
the Lord's! See Jonah 2:9 --- "Salvation
is of the LORD." And again in Psalm 3:8 ---
"Salvation belongeth unto the LORD:
thy blessing is upon thy people."
He just "gives" it to us by faith in His Son
Thank God for these "nuggets!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5 ... ISAIAH 55:3
We have been investigating the Gospel
Invitation of Isaiah 55. It's one of the very brightest in the
Notice part of the glorious third verse with
"Incline your ear, and
come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an
everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of
David." Isaiah 55:3
It literally is an invitation from the Lord!
"Come" is the word used. (The Hebrew verb is
"yalak" and means "to walk.")
It's an imperative! God here issues a
Jesus also does this in the New Testament.
In Matthew 11:28 He says:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This
"come" also is an imperative!
So is the next verse full of commands!
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto
your souls." (Both "take" and "learn" are demands of
But the Lord also asks us to do something
with our ear!
"Incline" your ear! This too is a command
(imperative) meaning to stretch out, to extend or to bend. Its
first Bible use is in Genesis 12:8 where Abraham "pitched" his
tent! (To stretch out!) It seems that God literally expects us
to put effort into hearing His Word! (The verb can at times
mean to bend AWAY as well as bend toward an object! Which way
we are to bend here is quite obvious!) For the "negative"
example, see Isaiah 30:11 where it's translated "turn aside" out
of the path!
Then ... the verb "hear" is used. (Another
imperative!) This is much like the language of the town crier
or the herald of the King commanding the city to prepare for the
royal arrival! (Wow!)
"Shama" (hear) means to perceive by ear! It
means to listen intelligently! Hearing is a part of the plan of
salvation I believe. Jesus said so in John 5:24.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
heareth my word,
and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and
shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto
And the results of inclining and hearing and
"You soul shall live!"
The verb "to live" translates "chavah." (To
preserve alive!) This seems to be life on a very high level of
quality too! One source says that it can also mean "to
revive." Every time you come to Jesus ... you WILL be
"revived." I'll promise you that!
The "time" sense of the verb (imperfect)
means on-going continual life! I call that (based on the New
Testament) "eternal life!" Once you receive it ... it never
Again, this is as good an explanation of the
plan of salvation as you will ever read in the Old Testament.
If you are saved ... rejoice in the "Life"
He has given you!
If you are lost ... the best thing I can do
for you is repeat the verse: "Incline
your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live."
Today's "nugget" is worth its weight in pure
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 6 ... ISAIAH
God speaks in Isaiah 55:3 of making an
everlasting covenant with His people!
"... and I will make an
everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."
That's a thrilling thought! The very verb
"make" is great!
It is "karath" in Hebrew and means "to cut!"
(To cut a covenant?) It seems that in God's view any real
"covenant" is signified and ratified by taking an innocent
little animal and sacrificing it (cutting it into 2 pieces)
thereby shedding its blood! (This is indeed a blood covenant!)
Every time God entered into "covenant"
relationship with anyone ... this type of "cutting" was done!
I believe it is a foreshadowing of the Cross
of Calvary! The GREATEST of all covenants is our eternal
salvation! And it surely was guaranteed when the precious Son
of God was slain (pierced, His blood shed) and "cut" for you and
And we do enjoy an "everlasting" salvation,
don't we? (It means with no end in sight! And if God can't see
the "end," there isn't one!) It is eternal!
Now for Israel there are some everlasting
covenants too. God has promised them the land ... and they're
going to get it ... every square inch of it! (And that's a
whole lot more real estate than they now occupy!) Also God has
promised them a Throne of David on which the Messiah will sit!
(That's coming too!)
But I am happy with soul salvation! What a
covenant relationship we enjoy with our dear Lord!
What is meant by the "sure mercies" of
David? The sure mercies promised to David consist of his having
a descendant on the throne of Israel. (I believe that based on
Acts 13:34 the real "Sure Mercies of David" are all wrapped up
in Christ Jesus! "And as concerning that
He raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to
corruption, He said on this wise, I will give you the sure
mercies of David.")
The adjective "sure" translates the Hebrew
term "aman." It IS our very word aman or amen too! It means
truthful or faithful! God just said AMAN to His Promises!
(When you say "aman/amen" at church ... you're really saying to
the preacher ... TRUE! IT IS SO! You are encouraging the man
The word "mercies" translates a great Old
Testament noun, "hesed" or "chesed." It means lovingkindness!
It is a first cousin to the Bible word GRACE! God "bent down"
to where we filthy sinners where and saved our lost souls! What
Grace this is! And it's sure and faithful!
God is here saying that He will keep His
He will SAVE those who come to Him! (Those
who heed His invitation!)
What a promise of salvation!
Enjoy this "nugget" today!
I surely plan to do so!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 7 ... ISAIAH
What an invitation we have been studying!
Here it is again:
"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. Wherefore do ye spend money for that
which is not bread? and your labour for that which
satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that
which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall
live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even
the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him
for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the
people." (Isaiah 55:1-4)
Isn't that amazing? And it's in the Old
Today the Lord has laid upon my heart verse 4
of that great chapter. I believe it speaks of Jesus, our Lord
and Saviour. This will be our final study in this
I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and
commander to the people." Isaiah 55:4
Now some Bible teachers say that these words
apply to David. However, these words don't really seem to fit
just any human being.
They undoubtedly apply to the One Who brings
the "sure mercies of David" as mentioned in Isaiah 55:3. BUT
that One was not David ... but the Greater Son of David, the
very Son of God!
At least that's what Paul said as he preached
in Acts 13:34 --- "And as concerning that
He raised HIM up from the dead, now no more to return to
corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure
mercies of David."
Additionally, the opening word (an
interjection), "Behold," often is used in Hebrew grammar to
speak of something or someone coming in the future! "Hen"
(behold) means (as expressing surprise) Lo!
The verb given ("nathan" in Hebrew) means to
deliver, to grant or to yield! God gave His Son to meet the
needs of lost mankind ... to die on the Cross that we might be
saved! (The "time" sense of "given" is that of completed
action. God gave Jesus to die ONCE ... but never again!)
The noun "witness" translates "ed" and means
one who gives testimony (in a solemn and often legally binding
sense)! It comes from a root verb that means "to duplicate or
to repeat!" (Tell me the Story again!) The stem verb means to
admonish, to charge, to protest, to testify or to give warning!
Sounds like "preaching" to me!
The noun "people" (used twice in our verse)
is "leom" and means a gathered assembly! But even with that
meaning it is translated 10 times in the King James Version as
"nations" and even once as "folk(s)!" That one time is in
Jeremiah 51:58 where Scripture mentions the
"folk in the fire!" (A judgment
verse!) Jesus is a Witness to folks headed for the fire!
The next noun, "leader" translates the Hebrew
term "nagiyd" which means "ruler, prince, captain, governor or
noble one!" ("Nagad," the stem verb, means "to be in front!"
To be the leader of the line!) That's the exact meaning of a
Greek word used of Jesus: "archegos." It means "arche" (the
beginning, the first, the chief) and "ago" (to lead)! Jesus is
the line Leader! Using our very word here Peter in Acts 3:15
calls Jesus the PRINCE of Life! And again in Acts 5:31 ---
"Him hath God exalted with his right hand
to be a Prince
and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness
of sins." Plus Hebrews 2:10 where Jesus is called the
CAPTAIN of our salvation! But Hebrews 12:2 (still using our
word "archegos") says Jesus is the AUTHOR and Finisher of our
faith! (Glory to God!)
The last word we'll study is "commander!"
Jesus is the Commander! In Hebrew it is "tzsvah" and means the
One Who gives the orders! Its first use (in verb form) is in
Genesis 2:16 --- "And the LORD God
man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely
eat." (So it is God commanding in Genesis 2 in the
Garden of Eden and it is still God commanding in Isaiah
55 in this Gospel invitation!) Our word is framed in verbal form
here in our verse and is a "Piel" stem. That means the action
described is intensive! Jesus commands fervently, diligently!
(And we had best obey!)
I've surely enjoyed studying our verse today!
We are glad you have visited us ... with a
Bible in your hand!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell