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Isaiah 40:1-5 (NIV)
Comfort for God’s People
40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The prophecy of Isaiah is filled with many difficult passages and judgments on the actions, behaviors, and faithfulness of God’s chosen people, Israel. Yet, as God has this lengthy heart-to-heart with his beloved children, he regularly returns to his promises for a future filled with hope. In these few verses, God reminds his people that He alone is the source of their life, he is their comforter and protector. God desires that his chosen people are obedient and faithful. Yet, these words of comfort and promise may get lost in the clatter of war, frustration, and difficulty. It may be the same for us. In the midst of business, of difficulty or hardship, words of comfort and the promises of God may get lost in the din. On this day, take a moment to put all other things aside – just for a moment – and read these words again: “‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken’”. Now, as the concerns of your heart and the events of the day crash back in, use these words of promise as an anchor. God has made a way. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, remind us that your promises are true. Remind us that you made a way for your Son, the way of sacrifice and forgiveness, the way of grace and peace. Prepare our hearts to receive him anew this day. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.