Bible Reference: Isaiah 40:1-5
Bible Text: 1 “Comfort, yes, comfort my people,” says your God. 2 “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and tell her that her sad days are gone. Her sins are pardoned, and I have punished her in full for all her sins.”
3 Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting, “Make a road for the Lord through the wilderness; make him a straight, smooth road through the desert. 4 Fill the valleys; level the hills; straighten out the crooked paths, and smooth off the rough spots in the road. 5 The glory of the Lord will be seen by all mankind together.” The Lord has spoken—it shall be.
Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)
Israel had been dealt quite a hand by prophets who threatened what God would do in response to their wickedness and sin. However God, through His servant Isaiah, brought hope to those who trusted in God in spite of the sin that they cringed at in their wicked neighbors every day, for he told of the coming of the Messiah! In fact, in verses 1 & 2, it was like God had assured Isaiah that he should now share some good news with His people. I have heard the following verses repeated at many Christmas programs in the past and even used in sermons around Christmas time, but my study of this has really opened my eyes to the meaning of this. We will see later in the New Testament (In Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; and in John 1:23) where John the Baptist again repeated these words as he went about preaching the coming of the Messiah. The truth being proclaimed was that the Messiah would face many challenges, such as one would face in the wilderness, or the desert, or the mountains, or along crooked and rough roads. You know, similar to what churches face today or that evangelists are challenged with today. But wait a moment you might quickly retort, what challenges? Friends, the message of Jesus Christ faces as many challenges as, or more than John the Baptist imagined in his proclamation. For today we face the mountains of increasing government regulations; the crooked paths of our society prohibiting the proclamation of Jesus Christ in many public environments because they fear that some might object; the objection of prayer or Bible teaching in our schools, in spite of increased crime rates, molestation, teacher abuse, and increased costs by keeping law enforcement on site. Friends, I believe it is very obvious that we have more obstacles to smooth out, remove or overcome than Isaiah or John the Baptist spoke of in their address to the people of their day. However the Word of God speaks, and in verse 5 we are told that the glory of God will be seen by ALL mankind, in accordance with what the Lord has spoken. So are you a part of the problem, or part of the solution? Did you consider this in your recent voting (here in the US)? Do you make your voice count at school administration meetings? Notice that verse 5 says that the glory of the Lord WILL be seen – that’s not a ‘maybe, if you agree with it’ type of a statement. Jesus has come, and He WILL call us home to be with Him one day, if we know Him as Lord. Are you ready friend? Do your part by readying your world for His return, will you?
Dear Lord in Heaven, thank You Father for sending Your one and only Son, in spite of knowing beforehand what He would face here on earth, with so much opposition, hatred and rejection. I realize that this was all a part of Your majestic plan for our eternal salvation, and I thank You sincerely for touching the hardened heart of this old sinner and convincing me of my need for a Savior. Lord, I am saddened to see the huge mountains still in place by many of my family and friends, for they have built their defenses and want nothing to do with You, the Savior who died for their sake. Lord, please continue to work on them, for these are Your children that You have placed on this earth. And it’s because of that awesome love for every child, that I believe You will continue to work on challenging them and helping them to straighten out the path towards salvation. I hurt for my Brothers and Sisters, because they are gambling with life and their decisions about meeting You, but they have no control over the very next moment in their life, for TODAY is the day of salvation. Lord, may they trust in You today, is my sincere and humble prayer this morning, AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!