“1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters: and you who have no money,
“Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?”
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.”
Feast or Famine?
Bread and water are the basic elements of sustaining human life. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 805 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2012-2014 (worldhunger.org). Less known is the fact that 1.1 billion people lack basic access to safe water (worldthirst.org)
There is another famine in our land more critical than the lack of bread and water. The book of Amos calls it a famine of the Word of God. Spiritual malnourishment is rampant in our land. God asks everyone who is thirsty or hungry to come and eat and drink — for free. Without money, without price. Feast or famine.
Read Isaiah 55:1-2 again.
What food challenge did God’s people face? It wasn’t lack of money, but poor choice. They were deceived. God’s people spent their money on something that was not bread, therefore it did not satisfy. They fed their souls with provisions that left them hungry, undernourished and poor. Famine.
God offers an alternative, manna from heaven.
Bread, water, wine and milk to nourish the soul and satisfy the heart. It costs nothing to partake because Jesus paid plenty to provide. What is this manna from heaven God calls us to feast upon? Read the second sentence of verse two carefully, “Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good . . . ”
He invites us to feast abundantly upon His word—”all you can eat.” So many of us settle for tidbits, junk food and meal replacements. Why? Why do so many Christians bypass the feast while our emaciated souls cry out for nutrient-dense nourishment of the word? We get by on a verse here, a word there, from a devotional vending machine while God has prepared a banquet for us.
I had a similar experience recently.
A few friends came to spend the weekend. When meal time arrived, we presented the menu and asked our guests to make themselves at home. With a smile I said, “We have a wide variety of organic fruits, vegetables, and salads.”
Tension. Fear. Suspicion.
Silence reigned in the kitchen. Faces froze and smiles faded. Everyone quickly begged-off dining with us and said they would eat later. And they did—at a local fast food restaurant. I was baffled. Our guests had a choice:
- Free nutritious organic food fresh from the garden, or
- Expensive fake processed food straight from the factory.
And they chose Door Number 2. Quick. Convenient. Familiar. I wonder how often God feels the same way, baffled by our choice to bypass the feast for the snack.
It’s time to put an end to drive-thru Christianity. Let’s carve some time out of our busy schedules and join God in the feast He has prepared for us. Spending time with God isn’t always quick, convenient or familiar, but it will satisfy and nourish your mind body and spirit. Are you hungry? It’s time to feast.
- Identify the junk food in your life: sketchy TV shows, controversial music, dicey movies, etc. What needs to go to make room for a good helping of God’s Word?
- Examine your calendar. What can you cut to make time for God’s Word? If nothing can go, you’re probably too busy. Or maybe you honestly have your schedule pared down to absolute necessities. Ask God to multiply your time, walk by faith and spend time with God anyway. He will bless you for your sacrifice.
- Find ways to put more of God’s Word into your day. Listen to His word on your iPod. Download an audio version of the Bible to your Kindle and listen while you do chores or fall to sleep at night.
Life is sweet. Come to the feast.
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