Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 4

Isaiah 40:1-11
Comfort, comfort my people,
    says your God.
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.
A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord
;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”
You who bring good news to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
    and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

This chapter of Isaiah was essential to the Jewish people.  They memorized it.  It was engrained in their minds.  Portions of it are quoted 37 times in the New Testament.  These words from the prophet brought them hope of a future Messiah. 

We need comfort when we have sinned, repented and suffered the results of our sin.  Just as when Israel sinned, God mourns and His heart is broken when we sin and separate ourselves from Him.  He watches us go through the struggle of admitting our sin and our need for Him.  We pay the price for our choices and He draws us close whispering words of comfort to our broken hearts.   


And the broken heart of Israel needed a reminder.  There is someone coming - the Messiah!    I have promised, He will come.  You will know because there will be another preparing the way.  We know him as John the Baptist, another prophesy fulfilled that we can hold onto and declare “My God keeps His promises”.  Then God announces Himself, His glory is revealed.  We are like the grass, we wilt and we die.  But not God, His Word is forever.  We are to proclaim God. The Messiah has come and he will return.  

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