The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

My Notes on Isaiah 55:6-11 with a special note on the relation of verses 10-11 with the other OT readings used this week

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 26, 2012

Isaiah 55:6-11 is the first reading for Tuesday of the First Week in Lent in the Extraordinary Form of the Rite. Verses 10-11 are the first reading of the same day in the Ordinary Form of the Rite. In the OF the word of God is a common theme of the first readings this week which is why I’ve appended some very brief notes on those readings at the end of the post.

Isaiah 55:1-13 closes out the second part of the book, chapters 40-55, in doing so it connects with its beginning (Isa 40:1-11). The theme of forgiveness is found in Isa 40:2 and Isa 55:6-7 (part of today’s reading); the theme of return from exile is found in Isa 40:4 and Isa 55:12-13; nature’s role in the return is the theme in Isa 40:4 and Isa 55:12; and, God’s word is lasting and effective is the them of Isa 40:8 and Isa 55:10-11 (part of today’s reading).

Isa 55:6  Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near.
Isa 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive.

Seek ye the Lord. As the context here makes clear, the seeking in question is an act of repentance, the wicked must forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts. This seeking must be done while he may be found. Man cannot presume upon God’s mercy. He is patient regarding sinners but not complacent (2 Peter 3:9-10; John 7:33-34; John 8:21). The covenant curses had come upon the people for their infidelities (see Deut 28:15-68), but these were intended to be medicinal, leading to repentance and the re-establishment of a right relationship with God (Deut 30:1-10).

Thoughts in verse 7, 8, and 9 means something more than mere reflections, rather, the meaning is a plan, purpose, or design.

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.

My thoughts are not your thoughts…my thoughts (are exalted) above your thoughts. Gives the reason for the call to the unjust man to forsake his thoughts (verse 7). Similarly, the contrast between your ways and my ways indicates why the wicked man is called upon to forsake his ways.

Isa 55:10  And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isa 55:11  So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it.

God’s word is effective, and what he has promised by his word will be brought to fruition. The comfort will come (Isa 40:1); the exile will end and the people will return to their land (Isa 43:1-28; Isa 48:1-22); Babylon and its gods will come to naught (Isa 46:1-13; Isa 47:1-15).

Isaiah 55:10-11 In Relation to the Other Old Testament Readings Used in the Ordinary Form of the Rite This Week:

Monday: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18. Because God’s word doesn’t just announce or request something but can bring it about we can embrace the call to “be holy, for I, the LORD, you God, am holy.”

Tuesday: Isaiah 55:10-11. The subject of this post.

Wednesday: Jonah 3:1-10. The word of God preached to the Ninevites brings them to repentance.

Thursday: The Book of Esther C. 12, 14-16, 23-25. The word of God which Esther read in the books of her forefathers gives her confidence that God will help her.

Friday: Ezekiel 18:21-28. The wicked man, by turning from his sins to the statutes of God will live.

Saturday: Deuteronomy 26:16-19. The keeping of God’s word is intimately bound up with enjoying his promises.

One Response to “My Notes on Isaiah 55:6-11 with a special note on the relation of verses 10-11 with the other OT readings used this week”

  1. […] of LentPope Benedict's Catechesis « Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 12:38-50 My Notes on Isaiah 55:6-11 with a special note on the relation of verses 10-11 with the other OT rea… […]

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