CLICK HERE to read Isaiah 55.
The Lord call the people to Him through the prophet, urging the people to accept the full gospel and be baptized so that they may be redeemed “without price” (verse 1). Peace and happiness cannot be bought, but they can be established and built through covenant making and keeping with the Lord. This is the true “labor” that satisfies because it has substance and nourishment to it, though we must be diligent and faithful in this work (verse 2). We will be blessed, nourished, and prospered to the degree that we are diligent and faithful.
The Lord pleads with the people, asking them to listen to Him, urging them to pay attention (verse 3). He says that the answers they pray for are right in front of them, and they only need to do what the prophets say to be able to see and hear and understand. He knows they want peace and happiness and mercy, and He is telling them the way to find it: by the prophets, whom He has sent (as He always has and still does) to lead the people as a whole (verse 4). It is by the prophets (the “flaming sword”) that we are able to return to the Lord’s presence, and by His atonement return to our Father.
The Lord then tells the people that in order to restore this gospel to the Earth, He will raise up a free nation not yet known to the world, as a place where the people will be free to practice religion and will be seeking the truth (verse 5). This is the way, the Lord says, through prophets and covenant making, and we should seek out these things while they are available (verse 6). Now is the time to prepare to return to our Father!
We prepare by making choices now that give evidence (tokens) that we are choosing Him. We forsake wickedness, turn from unrighteous thoughts, and we return to the Lord – who has met the demands of justice, and so by His atonement, the Father can grant us mercy (verse 7). We must let go of our old ideas and traditions that have surrounded us, laying claim to the atonement the way He has provided it (verse 8). It is by the atonement that we are enabled and empowered to become more than we were before (verse 9), for we cannot nourish ourselves but are grown up by the one who created us and knows what is best for us (verse 10).
The Lord will keep every promise He makes, and will accomplish all He said He would do (verse 11). He has already kept His promise to meet the demands of justice and to conquer death, and He offers this spiritually (Melchizedek) as well as physically (Aaronic): just as we have the resurrection (Aaronic), so also do we have cleansing such that restores us even to peace and joy and happiness (verse 12). As a sign of this, even the earth itself will be cleansed and restored in that Millennial day for the righteous: the weeds and thorns that make growing our food (temporal/physical/Aaronic) difficult and challenging in our day will no longer exist, so that food and provision can be grown easily and naturally as it once did. In the same way, when we choose obedience, He promises to nourish us spiritually (Melchizedek) – even with His righteousness, that we may be as He is.