Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55:1 come, buy wine and milk without money and without price
Hugh Nibley
Question: What does he mean, "...yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price"?
Answer: Those are the two nourishing drinks, wine and milk. Israel was a "land of milk and honey." That's the promise. And every man shall drink wine from his own vine, etc. These are the two sources of strength and the two liquids.
Question: Do they refer to the Atonement too?
Answer: Yes, that refers to it also; that's symbolic. (Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988--1990 [Provo: FARMS] 308)
Bruce R. McConkie
Hear it, all ye ends of the earth. God has spoken; the heavens have been opened; we have his gospel; keys and powers are again vested in men; and all men are invited to come, without money and without price, and feast upon the good word of God, for salvation is free. ("The Caravan Moves On," Ensign, Nov. 1984, 83)
Bruce R. McConkie
In the true church we neither preach for hire nor divine for money. We follow the pattern of Paul and make the gospel of Christ without charge, lest we abuse or misuse the power the Lord has given us. Freely we have received and freely we give, for salvation is free. All who thirst are invited to come and drink of the waters of life, to buy corn and wine without money and without price.
All our service in God's kingdom is predicated on his eternal law which states: "The laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion, for if they labor for money they shall perish." (2 Ne. 26:31.) (Ensign, May 1975, 52)
Marion G. Romney
Jesus put no money price tag on his invitation. Nephi quotes him as saying, "Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price" (2 Ne. 26:25).
This does not mean, however, that because he put no money price on it that there is no cost involved. There is a cost to be paid in becoming a disciple of Christ, a very real cost. But the cost is a performance cost, not a money price. ("A Disciple of Christ," Ensign, Nov. 1978, 38)
Joe J. Christensen
What is your most precious blessing?... Note how many blessings you have at the top of the list for which you would hope to have the courage to give up your mortal lives to protect. Then note how far down the list you go before you come to any blessing that you can buy for money. The most precious blessings are without price; they are priceless. (Ensign, Mar. 1999, 59)
Isaiah 55:3 I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David
Bruce R. McConkie
David was promised a resurrection, "for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell," he wrote, "neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." (Ps. 16:10.) This merciful promise of redemption, this manifestation of the loving kindness of the Lord (Ps. 89:48-49), is described by Isaiah as "an everlasting covenant . . . even the sure mercies of David." (Isa. 55:3.) (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2:126)
Bruce R. McConkie
[There] are two great truths: (1) That the Holy One of Israel, the Holy One of God, the Son of David, would die and then be resurrected; and (2) that because he burst the bands of death and became the first-fruits of them that slept, all men also would be resurrected, both the righteous and the wicked, including saints who became sinners, as was the case with David their king.
These two truths became known as and were called "the sure mercies of David," meaning that David in his life and death and resurrection was singled out as the symbol to dramatize before the people that their Holy One would be resurrected and that all men would also come forth from the grave. David knew and understood this and wrote about it. So also did Isaiah, which means the principle was known and taught in ancient Israel; and both Peter and Paul made it the basis of persuasive New Testament sermons, in which they identified the Holy One of Israel as that Jesus whom they preached.
Speaking of his own resurrection and that of his Lord, David wrote: "My flesh also shall rest in hope," meaning, 'My body shall come forth from the grave,' "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell," meaning, 'My spirit shall not remain in hell forever, but shall be joined with my body when I am resurrected.' Death and hell shall thus deliver up dead David who is in them. Then David came forth with the great Messianic pronouncement, "Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Ps. 16:7-11.) That is, 'The Holy One of Israel shall come forth in his resurrection before his dead body is permitted to decay and become dust.' (The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 272)
Isaiah 55:4 I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people
The millennial Jerusalem will be led by a great prince named David. Under the direction of the Messiah, he shall lead his people. While it is tempting to think of this "David" as a type for the millennial Christ, the prophecies would suggest that his identity is different than the Lord's.
And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.
And I will make with them a covenant of peace... (Ezek. 34:24-25)
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Ezek. 37:24-27)
The life of King David was a type for this millennial leader. David's trust in the Lord, mercy for the righteous, and courage in battle characterize the millennial David, who will be a witness, leader, "and commander to the people." Examining King David's life can therefore help us understand what to expect from this millennial prince.
David was not Saul's son, he was chosen by the Lord: "the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and... he liked me to make me king over all Israel" (1 Chron. 28:4, 1 Sam. 16:1). He was anointed "in the midst of his brethren" (1 Sam. 16:12, 2 Sam. 5:3). From the day he was anointed king, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon him (1 Sam. 16:13); he became a great man. Those who knew him said he was "a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him" (1 Sam. 16:18).
The millennial David will also need to be a "mighty valiant man, and a man of war." He will need to be "a leader and commander to the people." Here, the story of David and Goliath becomes a type as well. In the millennium, it won't matter how large the enemy; it won't matter how strong the opponent. David will stand against the wicked Goliaths and destroy them. He will do it in the name of the Lord and with the power of the Lord. Never again will Israel need to be blasphemed they way they were by Goliath. The millennial David could use the same language as his prototype:
I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases... unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands. (1 Sam. 17:45-47)
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
"Whenever a covenant or commandment is entered into between God and his children, it should be understood in terms of larger, eternal laws and principles. The Prophet Joseph Smith stated that 'we are looked upon by God as though we were in eternity. God dwells in eternity, and does not view things as we do.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 356.) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
"'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.' (Isa. 55:8-9.)" (Stephen K. Iba, "I Have a Question," Ensign, June 1986, 27)
Delbert L. Stapley
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only sure basis for a righteous life. No other plan, moral code, or creed can match or supplant its teachings. The gospel is a wise and guiding set of laws, principles, and ordinances for all men to live by.
The weakness and foolishness of many today cause them to be more interested in the teachings of man than in the teachings of God, as found in both ancient and modern scriptures. Unfortunately, for the most part, the thoughts of mortal men are centered in this temporal life and not on the eternal life. The philosophies of men cannot replace nor transcend gospel philosophy as given in the revelations of God, nor can the science of man replace the truths revealed by God through his prophets.
God's ways are not man's ways, but are infinitely superior thereto. ("The Path to Eternal Glory," Ensign, July 1973, 100)
Theodore M. Burton
It has been said that what is needed most today is not the voice of man, but the voice of God. Which generation of men and women have ever needed more the voice of a prophet of God to guide them than we do today? In a time in history when we are beset by a clamor of voices from every side saying "Lo, here is truth" or "No, here is truth," where can we find an authoritative voice saying "Thus saith the Lord"? Where is a Moses, or an Isaiah, or a Peter, or a Paul who can speak from personal knowledge of God?
I see, as you see, ideological dissension throughout the length and breadth of the earth. We read in papers and magazines and books various proposals of men who seek to solve moral and ethical problems by the passing of legislation. We see men and women turning to political theory or to science in an attempt to solve the spiritual and moral problems of today's civilization. We are trying to solve our problems by man's philosophy and learning and by human wisdom. I again hear Isaiah's words as he spoke the mind and the will of God: (quotes Isa. 55:7-11.)
God's way is the way to solve our political, moral, ethical, even our financial problems. The way of the Lord can eliminate wars, riots, discrimination, suffering, and starvation. What the world then needs is direction from a true prophet who, knowing the mind and the will of God, can speak in his name with power and authority and say, "Thus saith the Lord!" (Ensign, Dec. 1971, 78-79)
Ezra Taft Benson
There will be times when you will have to choose between the revelations of God and the reasoning of men-between the prophet and the politician or professor. Said the Prophet Joseph Smith, "Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof until long after the events transpire." (Scrapbook of Mormon Literature, vol. 2, p. 173.)
Would it seem reasonable to an eye doctor to be told to heal a blind man by spitting in the dirt, making clay, and applying it to the man's eyes and then telling him to wash in a contaminated pool? Yet this is precisely the course that Jesus took with one man, and he was healed (see John 9:6-7). Does it seem reasonable to cure leprosy by telling a man to wash seven times in a particular river? Yet this is precisely what the prophet Elisha told a leper to do, and he was healed (see 2 Kings 5).
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9.) (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 134)
Isaiah 55:11 my word shall... not return unto me void
Wilford Woodruff
Has [God] ever disappointed anybody when he has made a promise to them? Has he ever disappointed a Prophet or lawgiver in any age of the world? No, never. But he has declared that the heavens and the earth shall pass away, but his word shall never pass away, but that it shall all be fulfilled. It is just so in our day. All the words which the Lord has spoken through his servants will be fulfilled to the very letter, whether those words are in reference to the salvation of the righteous or the condemnation of the wicked. Christ had his mind upon this point when he said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."-Matthew 24:35. Again, it is written, "For I will hasten my word to perform it;" and when the Lord spake through Isaiah upon this subject he said. "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." The Elders go forth to preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth, knowing that the Lord will back up their word by the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 10: 12 - 13)
Isaiah 55:12 the hills shall break forth... into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands
When the Lord's children don't rejoice sufficiently in the glory of the Lord, then sometimes the elements of this earth must do their job for them. At the Master's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Pharisees complained about the attention Jesus received. He replied, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:40) Perhaps if the stones had actually begun praising Jesus, the hills and the trees would have joined in the celebration.
Chieko Okazaki
Have you ever heard the hills break into song or the trees clap their hands? To me, this scripture says that the Lord has miracles prepared for us, miracles that we simply can't imagine, marvels that we will never be able to figure out if we try to think of God's thoughts as just variations of our own thoughts. (Aloha! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 178)
Isaiah 55:13 instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree
We believe... that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (A of F 1:10)
"The new earth of the Millennium will be a physical paradise of luxuriant verdure and beauty. Isaiah continued to explain the process by which the desert will be changed into a place as verdant and fruitful as Carmel, Sharon, or Lebanon: 'for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water' (Isa. 35:6-7).
"In addition to the changes that will come to the deserts are those that will come to areas that are fertile today. Isaiah wrote that in the fertile ground of the earth 'instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle' (Isa. 55:13). Thus, in place of noxious plants or weeds that have tormenting thorns and briers will be trees and leafy shrubs that are beautiful and pleasant. Such a description illustrates a reversal of the curse which was put upon the earth following the fall of Adam. Adam was told that, unlike the conditions which he had enjoyed in the Garden of Eden, the ground would be cursed and bring forth thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:18). The millennial earth will be restored to conditions that existed before the Fall. Therefore, both desert and fertile field will enjoy changes in the new earth that will come to be during the Millennium." (Craig J. Ostler, Sperry Symposium Voices of Old Testament Prophets: The 26th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 73)