Faithlife Corporation

Isaiah: Prince of Prophets—How to Find Satisfaction in God

Notes & Transcripts

Satisfaction guaranteed! You hear the promise all the time. It’s become a staple of selling in T.V. commercials and radio ads. The phrase satisfaction guaranteed is often used as an advertising slogan more than a legally binding contract. The implication is that the product or service is so reliable or consistent in quality that the manufacturer or service provider is willing to stand behind it. This doesn't necessarily mean the product or service has an absolutely perfect performance history, but it does mean the customer will be guaranteed some form of satisfaction even if the product does not meet his or her expectations.

In this chapter, God speaks through Isaiah the Prophet and offers to His people an everlasting covenant that will, indeed, provide complete satisfaction. God WANTS us to be satisfied, but He wants us to be satisfied in that which is satisfactory. HE is the satisfactory One. One of the preachers I regularly listen to is Dr. John Piper, pastor of Betlehem Baptist Church in St. Paul, MN. He writes that, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

How can you find satisfaction? Real satisfaction in God?

I. To Find Real Satisfaction, YOU HAVE TO BE THIRSTY

            1. in verse 1, Isaiah addresses the participants to whom God promises satisfaction guaranteed
                1. it is only for the thirsty and the hungry
                  • “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.” (Isaiah 55:1, NIV84)
            2. the first step to satisfaction is dissatisfaction
                1. to be satisfied, you first have to be unsatisfied
                2. to be filled, you first have to be empty
                3. to have your thirst quenched, you first have to be thirsty


    • “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.” (Isaiah 55:2, NIV84)
            1. it’s no secret that we live in a consumer culture
                1. the airwaves are full of ads ... magazines and newspapers depend on advertizing to pay the cost for their product ... unless you have a “pop-up” blocker on you computer, the internet is constantly using what they call “push technology” to “push” advertisements to your screen
                2. all this advertizing is designed to convince us that we simply cannot live without the product being promoted
                  • ILLUS. Someone once said: The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. A social commentator a few years ago quipped that the typical American buys stuff they don’t need, with money they ain’t got to impress people they don’t like!
            2. consumerism promises many things; perhaps at bottom, though, it promises to satisfy our needs and wants
                1. consumerism promises, in exchange for some of our resources, the fulfillment of our desires
                2. in the pursuit of such fulfillment we will not only have our basic needs satiated, we are told that we will find our true selves
                3. perhaps inside of you there exists a latent fly-fisherman, film-maker, or hula-hooper
                    1. you can only find out by purchasing the needed products and giving them a try
            3. the question, of course, does the “stuff” of the world really satisfy?
                1. well, to a certain degree, it does which is why we are often like Oliver Twist holding up a bowl and saying, “Please sir, may I have some more?”
                2. Satan knows full well that many people will ignore the satisfaction of their soul if they have satisfaction of the flesh
                    1. “stuff” satiates
                    2. “stuff” will lull people into a deep spiritual sleep
                    3. perhaps that’s why Jesus told his disciples that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God
                3. this may also be why Isaiah begins the passage with the exclamation Ho! (or Hoy! as in ahoy!)
                    1. so great is the sluggishness of men that it is sometimes difficult to arouse them without a shout, and so Isaiah begins the passage with a shout—wake up and listen!
            4. God wants your soul to delight in the riches of fare v. 2


            1. man’s essential problem is that we often do not recognize our spiritual thirst or, when we do, we attempt to slacken that thirst with the wrong sorts of things
              • ILLUS. She was a woman who had been around and it showed, if not on her face, then in the deeper resources of her heart. It wasn’t the years; it was the mileage. When it came to picking men, she had plenty of experience and all of it was bad. One relationship after another had ended in disaster. Then one afternoon, she went down to the well to draw water and found a Galilean rabbi there. The last thing she wanted was to get into a religious discussion, but she was drawn into a discussion despite herself when he began speaking to her about her need for living water—a lasting, spiritual, never-ending source of spiritual water that would refresh her tired soul. You know the story and you know that there came a point in the conversation where Jesus said to her, “Go get your husband and bring him here.” You can almost see her wince at the mention of the topic. Why did He have to go and mention that? “I have no husband,” she responds. But that question enables her to understand that at the very least she is dealing with a prophet. Eventually she asks for the living water he has to offer.
            2. why did Jesus go there?
                1. it was to show her need
                2. it was to make her thirsty for that which only He could satisfy
            3. he does the same thing to us today
                1. there are things that the Lord brings into the sinner’s life that are designed to increase their thirst for the spiritual
                    1. hardships, ill health, physical, emotional, and spiritual traumas, and even natural disasters are all events that the Holy Spirit will use to create a spiritual thirst in a sinners’s life


            1. also in verse 1, Isaiah address the plenty by which God promises satisfaction guaranteed
              • “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.” (Isaiah 55:1, NIV84)
            2. to be satisfied, you not only have to be dissatisfied, you also have to be unable to satisfy yourself with that which you have at hand


            1. three times in verse 1 we hear God’s gracious invitation—Come!
                1. God invites us to experience the abundance of His resources
                2. those resources include ...
                    1. the waters—In the East, water is a precious ingredient; and an abundance of water is a special blessing. Water brings refreshment.
                    2. wine, milk, and bread—Wine, milk, and bread were staples of the Jewish diet, and the primary source of nourishment.
                3. the invitation to buy wine and milk and bread indicate that the people were living on substitutes/ that did not nourish them
                    1. they needed “the real thing,” which only the Lord could give
            2. as in Isaiah’s day, too many of our friends and neighbors and family are living on substitutes that do not nourish them
              • ILLUS. John MacArthur tells the story of an old farmer who had a mule. The farmer was a frugal old fellow, who had concluded that the oats he was feeding his mule were costing him too much money. He needed the mule, so he couldn't just sell him. Instead, he concocted a plan. He'd substitute just a little bit of sawdust for the oats, hoping the mule wouldn't know the difference. And it worked. The mule ate his bag of oats with the sawdust and didn’t seem to notice. Soon, the farmer subtracted more oats and replaced them with more sawdust. Again, the mule didn’t seem to notice. Pleased with the money he was saving, the old farmer continued substituting more sawdust for oats. Unfortunately, the mule eventually died of malnutrition even though his belly was full.
                1. there is a lesson for us in there
                2. we sometimes do to our souls, to our spiritual lives, to our relationship with Jesus Christ, what that foolish farmer did to his mule
                3. Jesus probably had Isaiah 55:2 in mind when He said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27, NKJV).


            1. the invitation is to buy even though the customer has no money
                1. now that seems to be a strange invitation indeed
                    1. what vendor invites people to purchase his wares when he knows the customer is broke?
                2. God’s wares are in abundance and they are free for the taking because they have already been purchased!
                    1. there was a price paid that man might have water, wine, milk and bread
                    2. that price consisted in the fact that the chastisement of our peace was upon the Righteous Servant of the Lord
                3. salvation begins with the admission that you are unsaved and that your only recourse is the free grace of God
                    1. it is only when you admit your spiritual poverty that God, who is incomparably rich in grace, gives to you all of the riches that are in Christ Jesus
                    2. this grace satisfies the soul
            2. and we need to keep coming back!
              • ILLUS The supreme goal of any company is to foster brand loyalty within the consumer. I bought Oldsmobiles because my dad bout Oldsmobiles. But I also bought Oldsmobiles because I liked the looks of Oldsmobiles and the quality of Oldsmobiles. I was disappointed when they stopped making Oldsmobiles!
                1. the salvation of our soul is the initial satisfaction we receive from God
                    1. but the word come in verse one means to keep on coming
                2. God promises to satisfy us every time we come to Him


            1. also in verse 1, Isaiah address the promise of God’s satisfaction guaranteed
              • “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.” (Isaiah 55:2–3, NIV84)
            2. notice the verbal commands that are given in these two verses:
                1. Listen
                2. Eat
                3. Delight
                4. Incline your ear
                5. Come to me
                6. Hear me
            3. I want to suggest that these are all describing the same thing
                1. they are describing the act of listening; not just hearing, but really listening
                    1. we all know that there is a difference between hearing and listening
                      • ILLUS. Everyone who has ever had children know the difference.
                2. real listening is more than the auditory impulses upon the ear
                    1. it sends a message to the mind and it responds in action
                    2. that is what we see in this passage; it is a call to listen—a call to eat—a call to delight—a call to BELIEVE
                3. how do we hear God?
                    1. God draws sinners to Himself through the Word
                      • “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24, NIV84)
                    2. this is why teaching the Word and preaching the Word and
            4. if you do these things, God will make an everlasting covenant with you
                1. the parallel passage to this principle is found in John 6 where Jesus says that all who come to Him must be willing to eat of His body and to drink of His flesh
                  • “When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:25–35, NIV84)
                2. Jesus told his disciples on the night of his betrayal and arrest that he was about the establish a new covenant with them
                  • “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:20, NIV84)
                  • “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15, NIV84)
            5. when you say the word “covenant” there are likely a number of aspects that will come to mind
                1. a covenant involves...
                    1. a contract
                    2. a binding agreement between two parties
                    3. Promises and oaths
                2. but at the very heart of a covenant, there is the idea of relationship
                    1. that is why we often describe marriage as a covenant
                    2. it is a covenant relationship, binding for the life of the two parties
                    3. we say, “Till death do us part,” not, “Until divorce we divide”
            6. God invites us to enter into a covenant relationship with Himself


    • “Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” (Isaiah 55:5, NIV84)
            1. the invitation is extended to “everyone” and not just to the Jews
                1. anyone who is thirsting for that which really satisfies is welcome to come


A. Our Satisfaction Is In Christ

            1. in him your soul will delight in the richest of fare
              • “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,” (Romans 10:12, NIV84)
              • “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9, NIV84)
              • “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NIV84)

B. We Must Continue to Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness

            1. in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6, NIV84)
            2. when we do, God abundantly blesses

C. We Are a Covenant People Who Are in a Relationship with the Living God

    • “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23, NIV84)

Con. B.B. McKinney was pondering all the things that God had done for him in Christ and how little he had done for God. He was altogether satisfied with Jesus but altogether dissatisfied with his own life. He wrote the music and the words for the hymn Satisfied With Jesus in one afternoon.


I am satisfied with Jesus,

He has done so much for me:

He has suffered to redeem me,

He has died to set me free.


He is with me in my trials,

Best of friends of all is He;

I can always count on Jesus,

Can He always count on me?


I can hear the voice of Jesus,

Calling out so pleadingly,

“Go and win the lost and straying;”

Is He satisfied with me?


When my work on earth is ended,

And I cross the mystic sea,

Oh, that I could hear Him saying,

“I am satisfied with thee.”


I am satisfied, I am satisfied,

I am satisfied with Jesus,

But the question comes to me,

As I think of Calvary,

Is my Master satisfied with me?

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