Isaiah 55:1-13

Come to the Lord!

1 ‘Listen! All of you who are thirsty,

come here for water to drink!

You may have no money,

but come here and buy food to eat!

Come and buy wine and milk!

You do not need to pay any money. It is free!

55:1God is speaking to his people who are far away from him. They are slaves in exile, so they have no money to buy things with. God will give his blessings to them. He offers them all that they need for life. They do not have to pay anything as they would usually have to do.

2 Do not spend money on anything that is not real food.

You work hard for your money,

so do not spend it on things which do not help you.

Listen carefully to me.

Eat something that will make you strong!

Enjoy the best food!

3 Come to me and listen carefully.

If you accept my teaching,

you will have real life!

Then I will make a covenant with you,

to be my people.

My promise will continue for ever,

like the promise that I made to King David.

4 So look! I chose David

to show my power to other people.

I made him a leader to rule the people of the nations.

5 Now you will call other nations to come to you.

They will be nations that you did not know before.

Nations that did not know you before

will now run quickly to you.

They will come to you,

because they see that you are great.

The Lord your God, Israel's Holy God,

will make people honour you.’

6 Come to serve the Lord now,

while he lets you find him.

Call out to him for help,

while he is near you.

7 Wicked people need to change the way that they live.

Evil people must stop thinking their evil thoughts.

They must turn back to the Lord our God,

because he will be kind to them.

Yes, God will completely forgive them,

if they turn back to him.

8 The Lord says,

‘Remember! My thoughts are not the same as your thoughts.

The way that you do things is not the same as the way that I do things.

9 The sky is far higher than the earth.

In the same way, I do things in a much better way than you do.

Also, my thoughts are much higher than your thoughts.

10 The rain and the snow come down from the sky,

and they do not immediately return there.

Instead, they give water to the earth,

so that crops will grow there.

Then the farmer has seeds to plant,

and people have food to eat.

11 It is the same when I give my word to people.

It will not return to me without any result.

No! My word does what I want it to do.

What I promise to do will certainly happen.’

12 You will leave that foreign land with joy!

You will travel home with peace in your minds.

The mountains and the hills will sing with joy

as you travel past.

The trees in the fields will clap their hands together!

13 Where thorn bushes have been growing,

pine trees will grow instead.

Myrtle bushes will grow where there are weeds now.

Those things will show everyone that the Lord is great.

It will be a sign to people for ever.