Joy to the World!
40:1 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 desert prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the wilderness
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 mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the
Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out.”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”
9 You who bring good tidings to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good tidings 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!”
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him. (Isaiah 40:1-10)
Some 700 years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed a message from the Lord. He declared comfort for his people. He told of a messenger who would come before the Messiah to prepare the way for him. He would be a “voice” crying out in the desert places. He would warn people about their condition and offer hope in the One Who would follow.
In the fullness of God’s timing, John (the Baptist) was born. His conception and birth were miraculous enough; however, his detailed fulfillment of his prophetic preparatory role was a clear fulfillment of God’s plan. It was not a physical road he prepared for the coming King, but the “pathway” into people’s hearts. He called them to repentance and baptized them in preparation for the Messiah.
For today, consider the condition of your own heart’s “road.” Is it rough terrain or a smooth pathway for the Messiah to take up residence? Where are the potholes? Where are the moguls? Where do bridges need to be built? Walls torn down?