I. CHRIST AS THE ETERNAL COVENANT TO ISRAEL,
EVEN THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID, BEING
THE CENTER OF THE DIVINE PROVISIONS TO ISRAEL
Christ is not only the eternal covenant to Israel but even the sure mercies of David. As such, He is the center of the divine provisions to Israel (55:1-5).
A. The Call to the Thirsty Ones
to Come to the Waters
"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" (v. 1). Those who have no money may nevertheless come and buy, but they buy without paying anything. Eventually, they receive a free drink. Here we see that God’s thought is that we would come and drink of Him freely. Verses 2 and 3a continue: "Why do you spend money for what is not bread,/And the result of your labor for what does not satisfy?/Hear Me attentively, and eat what is good,/And let your soul delight itself in fatness./Incline your ear and come to Me;/Hear, so that your soul may live."
B. Jehovah Making
an Eternal Covenant with Israel,
Even the Sure Mercies Shown to David
"I will make an eternal covenant with you,/Even the sure mercies shown to David" (v. 3b). Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God is the waters, and this Christ, who is the Servant of God, is also an eternal covenant with Israel (42:6; 49:8; 54:10), even the sure mercies shown to David. According to Paul’s understanding in Acts 13:34 and 35 (see note 1 on verse 34 there), the sure mercies shown to David are Christ Himself in resurrection. Whereas Isaiah speaks of "the sure mercies," Acts 13:34 speaks of "the holy and faithful things." The Hebrew word for mercies (chesed) implies the notion of holiness. Thus, in Acts 13:34 Paul interprets the sure mercies as the holy and faithful things, and then he goes on to indicate that these things are the resurrected Christ.
In Christ as the sure mercies, God reaches us in His grace to be our enjoyment. The New Testament reveals that the incarnated God brings us grace (John 1:1, 14, 16-17). Grace is actually God Himself for our enjoyment. In order to receive this grace, we need to be in the right position. However, as sinners full of iniquities, we were not in such a position. Thus, there was the need for mercy, which reaches farther than grace and which brings us into the position to receive grace. Because our situation was miserable and could not match God’s grace, Christ not only took the step of incarnation to bring God as grace to us, but He also took a further step of death and resurrection in order to become the sure mercies to us in resurrection. Through His death and resurrection, Christ, the embodiment of God’s grace, became the sure mercies, and through these mercies we are now in the proper position to match God and to receive Him as grace. This is what Isaiah prophesied in chapter fifty-five, and this is what Paul meant in Acts 13.
Isaiah 55:4 says, "Behold, I have given him as a witness to the peoples,/A leader and a commander to the peoples." This indicates that Christ is not only the sure mercies shown to David but also the real Witness, Leader, and Commander. He is the universal Commander in Chief.
C. Jehovah Glorifying Israel
Verse 5 says, "Behold, you will call a nation that you do not know,/And a nation that does not know you will run to you,/Because of Jehovah your God, even the Holy One of Israel,/For He has glorified you." For us to be glorified means that we are brought into God and that God becomes our expression.
(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 28, by Witness Lee)