Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Buy without money

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55: 1

"This verse sounds like a vendor is giving away his goods for free. How else could someone buy without money and without price? This orientalism relates to how special days are celebrated in Eastern cultures. In Western culture for example, when someone has a personal celebration, we expect others to give us gifts. In the East, the custom is quite the opposite. Someone who celebrates a significant day (like the birth of a child) shows gratitude to God by giving to others. It is considered a gift to God to even provide a cup of water to someone who is thirsty.

In the marketplace, the vendor of water, milk, and wine will cry out the price of his goods, much like the hot dog vendor walking up and down the rows at a baseball stadium. He will announce that each drink is so much per jug. Those wishing to buy will know exactly what the price is when they approach.

If someone in the crowd is celebrating a special occasion, they will go to the vendor and purchase a certain amount of the goods. But instead of taking it home, he has the vendor change his announcement to 'come, buy without money and without price'. The people who hear this know what has happened, that someone has paid the price of the water, wine, and milk. Anyone with need can go and 'buy' without money. The benefactor stands by, and they can express their gratitude to him as their jugs are filled.

Isaiah's use of this orientalism was not just descriptive of everyday life in the market place, but he used it for its spiritual significance. Mankind has always come short of the glory of God. We were never able to be 'good' enough, make enough sacrifices, or follow the Old Testament law without making mistakes. Man cannot pay the price for his deliverance. That is why Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, came into the world. He paid the price for us by dying on the cross. Now we can 'buy without money', and drink of the living waters of Holy Spirit, because it has already been paid for. This is a great revelation of Isaiah 55: 1."


  1. The tenderness expressed in this sweet story is such a perfect example of the bottomless depths of our Father's love and mercy. Truly as Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us, 'the Lord's mercies are not consumed, His compassions fail not because they are new every morning.' "Great is thy faithfulness"

    Thank you again Donna for a story that needs to be sent far and wide.

  2. Cool. I've wondered about this.

  3. Donna, Kathryn P. sent me to your site. I met you once while you were getting ready for a retreat that I could not attend because of my back. I love your blog. You enlighten my understanding and then, the Lord feeds my soul with each and EVERY posting. How blessed we are by this technology! Thank YOU!

    Bonnie Holt