July 23, Reading 2 – Isaiah 40

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

This word of comfort reminds us of two things – the Bible stands forever and will never disappear; our God is an awesome God. Do you see and feel that?

SJA Notes

John the Baptist points to Isaiah in Mark 1, Luke 3 and John 1, saying that he is the voice crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’.

What’s interesting is the layered understanding we can read here in Isaiah.

John was an evangelist, pointing people to Jesus, calling on others to prepare the way of the Lord. He was a voice crying in the wilderness.

But see here in v3 of Isaiah 40, there is another angle.

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

So there is a PLACE, a LOCATION here as well. What is the wilderness? What is the desert?

Generally we think of these places as lean of life, where nothing much grows, shrubs and not much more. Rocky wilderness. Sandy deserts.

Israel’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land was a journey through the wilderness, trudging across the desert.

We read in Jeremiah ch2, words that Israel didn’t say but should have, “They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drougt and deep darkness, …'”

God led Israel through the wilderness and the desert. And here they are called to, in these places, to prepare the way of the LORD, to make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

For us today, the Lord has rescued us out of sin and placed us on the narrow way that leads to life (the promised land remade, the Lord dwelling with us, glory!).

And so the word of Isaiah, and the word of John the Baptist, they exhort us to action.

We are to tell people of the frailty of life! “All flesh is grass” we can say, pointing to our mortality, and the foolishness of ignoring this reality.

But more, we don’t leave our cry there.

We can securely stand on God’s word, because unlike our mortal flesh, it lasts forever!

What a deep and rock-solid truth this is. Good to chew over, to think on, to pray about.

God’s word is FOREVER! It stands … FOREVER!

* Father God, thank You that Your Word is FOREVER.

Thank You that we can stand in this, founded on Your word, even when the world laughs at us because they think us foolish. Even when the world would call us silly and try to undermine our trust in You – Your word stands.

Thank You that it has stood and is standing and will continue to stand, through all eternity.

Mark us as a people who trust in Your word.

Amen.

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