19 February 2018

Isaiah 55:1-13

“Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (v. 1)

Psalm: Psalm 46


What do we mean by justice? We often speak of it as people receiving what they deserve, or expressing outrage when they or others are treated unfairly. As we look at the words of Isaiah, the vision he outlines could be described as going against the principles of justice, because he speaks of people receiving what they don’t deserve – “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

Isaiah is writing to God’s people at a difficult and troubling time in their history. They had been forced to live in exile; the homeland was a desolate ruin and they longed for a better world. We can imagine how Isaiah’s words might have awakened hope and yet also pain.

Isaiah reminds the people of God’s covenant; an immovable promise to come to the aid of those in distress. God’s vision for our world is not one where people are abused or oppressed, but to build for everyone communities of generosity and provision – more than simply their just deserts. How does this vision of open-handed generosity challenge our perception of justice today? What does it say about the way that the needy should be cared for in our world?

If this vision of God’s kingdom is to be realised, those who are intent on doing harm need to turn from their ways. As we read Isaiah’s invitation for wickedness to be abandoned, we might reflect on who in our own world needs to be challenged to act and think differently.

The words of Psalm 46 challenge those who have power and influence in our world. They speak of God as a refuge in a troubled world. but also recognise God’s power and rule as greater than that of the nations of our world. How might our world be different if those with earthly authority and influence took the time to recognise who God is?

To Ponder

  • How does Isaiah’s vision of open-handed generosity challenge your perception of justice?
  • What one thing can you do to live a more just life? Try and do it this week.

Bible notes author

Phil Jump

Phil Jump Phil Jump is Regional Minister of the North Western Baptist Association and has worked with local churches on a number of community and public issues initiatives. He is currently the interim member of the Joint Public Issues Team on behalf of Baptists Together.