#DailyDevotion Prepare The Way For The LORD Jesus
Isaiah 40 “Comfort My people, comfort them” says your God. 2“Talk to the heart of Jerusalem, and announce to her that her time of hard service is over, her wrong is paid for, and she has received from the LORD double for all her sins!’ 3A voice cries in the wilderness: “Prepare a way for the LORD: make a straight highway in the desert for our God. Every valley must be raised; every mountain and hill be lowered. The steep places must be made level; the impassable ridges be made a plain. 5Then the LORD will show His glory, and all people together will see it for the mouth of the LORD has said it.”
Isaiah is an eighth century prophet. He prophesied that the northern tribes would be taken off into exile by the Assyrians. He has seen the incursion of Assyrians into Judah and cause much destruction there. He had prophesied the future exile of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem when Hezekiah’s pride showed the treasures of the LORD to the Chaldean visitors after he got better from an illness. Most everything up to this point in the prophet Isaiah has been doom and gloom. Chapter 40 begins a section so stark in contrast many people think it is written by someone else. From this chapter forward the message is one mostly of hope.
So to begin with “Comfort My people, comfort them” is a good thing to do. To whom is God speaking to? We don’t know: Perhaps the prophets, the Apostles, evangelist, missionaries and pastors. Considering this prophecy to will end in Jesus I think he is speaking to the Church as a whole. She is to speak to all of God’s people both Jew and Gentile, all who would come to faith in Jesus Christ.
God disciplines the world calling it to repentance. He disciplines it with war, disaster, disease and allows us to wallow in our sins, digging ourselves into holes to where we can do nothing but look up from the depths of it and cry, “Mercy!” We can see in the history of Israel how the LORD has disciplined them and can know the world isn’t far behind. Isaiah looks deep into the future towards the Last Day and announces that Jerusalem, which stands for the Church, has received double for all her sins. That is to say, the time for her purification is coming to an end.
Then we get a peek into the coming ministry of Jesus with the preparation of John the Baptist. All the gospels point this out, “Prepare a way for the LORD!” The Baptist is pointing out Jesus as the LORD whose way he is preparing. Through the Baptist’s ministry the valleys are filled, the mountains razed, for the coming of Jesus. When Jesus is manifested at his baptism there the word of the LORD spoken here comes to pass. When Jesus is crucified, what is said here comes to pass, the LORD Jesus has shown his glory and all the people have seen it. We shall indeed see it again when he returns and receive our final comfort in the New Jerusalem.
Heavenly Father, may your pastor so preach to us your word that the valleys and hills of our hearts be made level to receive the coming of the LORD Jesus into them so we may be comforted by his glory and in the New Jerusalem. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.