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Isaiah 55:1-13 1 
1 “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. 2 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 you will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. 4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples. 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” 6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”

do-your-best-and-god-will-do-the-restBackground

In the prior two chapters, Isaiah talked of Christ of the church of Christ. In chapter 55 we have much of the covenant of grace made with us in Christ. This chapter begins with the “sure mercies of David,’’ which are promised (v. 3) and are applied by Luke to the benefits which flow to us from the resurrection of Christ (Acts. 13:34). Here is:

  1. A free and gracious invitation to all to come and take the benefit of gospel grace (v. 1)
  2. Pressing arguments to enforce this invitation (v. 2-4).
  3. A promise of the success of this invitation among the Gentiles (v. 5).
  4. An exhortation to repentance and reformation, with great encouragement given to hope for pardon thereupon (v. 6-9).
  5. The ratification of all this, with the certain efficacy of the word of God (v. 10, v. 11).
  6. And an instance of the accomplishment of it in the return of the Jews out of their captivity, which was intended for a sign of the accomplishment of all these other promises.

Biblical Truths and Theology 2

Verses 1-2: The word pictures of familiar things to eat and to drink show God’s great care for his people. His free gifts truly satisfy what people need.

Verse 3: The Lord will repeat the covenant that he made with David long ago (see 2 Samuel 7:8-12 and Psalm 89:33-37). This time the covenant will not be with David’s family (see 2 Samuel 7:16), but with the whole nation called Israel.

Verse 4-5: David’s extraordinary defeat of much greater armies was evidence to the nations of the power of David’s God (see Psalm 18:43-45).

Verse 6: God is not a distant God. People can easily reach him. He is close to them. He hears their prayers.

Verse 7: God tells evil people to repent, that is, to stop their wicked practices and plots. And to return to God and to live in his way. Then God will forgive them completely.

Verse 8: God’s plans are totally different in nature from human plans. There is no certainty that human plans will succeed. But there is no doubt that God will carry out his plans perfectly.

Verse 9: God uses ‘sky’ and ‘earth’ as picture words to show how different are God’s actions from human actions — God’s plans are much more wonderful than any human plan.

Verses 10-11: God’s kind purposes are for the benefit of all people. That is why he carries out his purposes.
Note: See Isaiah 40:8 for another passage about the nature and effect of God’s word.

Items for Discussion

  • What is the difference between a command and an invitation and why is this important here?
  • How are these verses an invitation to mankind?
  • What is Isaiah’s argument as to why we should accept it?
  • What is humanities arguments against accepting God’s invitation?
  • How does the metaphor of rain and snow versus God’s Word help you understand our God better?
  • So, what are we being held accountable to and for?

Luke 19:11-27
11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ 14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ 17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ 18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ 19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ 20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ 24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ 25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

Background

In chapter 19 of we have the following:

  1. The conversion of Zaccheus the publican at Jericho (v. 1-10).
  2. The parable of the minas 3 which the king entrusted with his servants, and of his rebellious citizens (v. 11-27).
  3. Christ’s riding in triumph (such triumph as it was) into Jerusalem; and his lamentation in prospect of the ruin of that city (v. 28-44). – Christ could see the coming siege of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus
  4. His teaching in the temple, and casting the buyers and sellers out of it (v. 45-48).

Biblical Truths and Theology

Verses 11-14: The crowd came near to Jerusalem. They expected that the kingdom of God would come. Maybe they expected Jesus to declare that he was the king. Therefore, Jesus told this story about an important man. The man went to a country a long way from home. He went to receive a kingdom.

Verses 15-19: The man got his kingdom and he came back home. He told his servants to give to him an account of what they had done. The first one had gained 10 more minas. The second one had gained 5 more minas. The king gave them control over cities in his kingdom.

Verses 20-23: The third servant out of the 10 gave his account. We do not know what happened to the other 7 servants. The third servant gave to the king the mina that he had kept safe. He had done nothing with it. He did not trade with it, as his master had ordered him to do. He hid it because he was afraid of his master. He was afraid that he might lose his master’s mina. The servant’s explanation was that his master was a very severe man. His master took profit where he had not earned it. The master used what the servant had said against him. The servant knew what kind of man the master was. Therefore, he should at least have put the money in the bank. There it would have earned profit. The master had told the servants to trade. He expected them to take that risk. The third servant did not obey his master, so the master was angry with him.

Verses 24-27: The master took the mina from the third servant. He gave it to the servant who had 10 minas. The servant with 10 minas had proved that he was loyal and responsible. So, his master could trust him with much greater responsibility. The servant who returned his mina did not trade with it. He had neglected to use it as his master had ordered. He had shown that he was neither loyal nor responsible.

Items for Discussion

  • How was this parable like what Jesus was about to go through as He entered Jerusalem?
  • Do you think that God tests us? How and Why?
  • How does this parable show us what God expects from our personal talents?
  • Is this reasonable? What should our response be?
  • What do you think “Just do your best means?”

Discussion Challenge

  • What role do you think the church has in helping its members learn and grow their “minas?”

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/isaiah49-57-lbw-nh.htm
  3. In modern values, a silver mina would equal about US$100 and a gold mina about US$6,500 or equivalent to about 3 months wages.
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