We’re going to analyze the first three verses of Isaiah 55:
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”
When God issues His invitation to come to Him, He offers water, wine, and milk. There’s a lot of symbolism here so let’s look at that.
Water is one of the most important substances to us. Our bodies are comprised of 60-70% water. The average human can live three days without water, but don’t try that. We have to have water to live. In the Bible water is often a picture of the new birth. When Jesus talked with Nicodemus in John 3:5, Jesus said,
“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4:13-14, He said,
“Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus promises complete satisfaction to everyone who drinks of the water that He offers. Unlike physical water, which we better not go more than three days without, the spiritual water that Jesus offers will forever satisfy the soul who will take just one sip. Jesus makes this offer in John 7:37, 38:
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
Wine in biblical times was just as important as water. Most of the water was not fit to drink, so wine was added to the water to kill the bacteria and made the water drinkable.
In the Bible, wine is often used as a picture of joy,(Psalm 104:15) and is also a picture of the Holy Spirit, who enters a child of God at the moment of salvation. In 1st Peter 1: 8 it says that when we believe we will be filled with “an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Remember that on the Day of Pentecost, the Jews thought that the Spirit-filled disciples were drunk with new wine (Acts 2:13). Peter told the crowd that these men were not drunk with wine; they were under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Milk, the third item here, is essential for healthy growth. In the Bible milk is a picture of the Word of God (Scripture). God gives us the water of life that saves us, and the Spirit of God that gives us joy, and He also gives us the Word of God, the Bible, that teaches us all about God. The Bible is referred to as milk in 1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12-13. So these three things, water, wine, and milk symbolize new birth, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Scriptures.
Now look at the end of verse one: you can buy these three things without money or cost. God places everything as a free gift. He offers salvation and contentment to all who will come to Him free of any charge. (Rev. 22:17)
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
Wow, that was a lot. Now let’s get to verse 2: Why spend money on what is not bread? Bread is a symbol of the complete and never-failing provision for our spiritual nourishment. Why spend money on cardboard food? Think about it.
Verses 2 and 3 tell us what will happen if we receive the Lord’s free offer. First, God promises those who come to Him that their “soul will delight in the richest of fare.” This is a picture of salvation! Secondly, God promises that He will “make an everlasting covenant with you”. What is that covenant? Find it in the rest of the verse: His faithful love!