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Summary: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Comfort for God’s People

Isaiah 40

John Shearhart

August 7, 2011

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

He has glorified Himself in forgiving our sin (:2-5)

This is an important point to remember in all things: that God alone is glorified and He does not share His glory with any other (Is. 42:8).

You should take the time to find all the places in the Bible where God declares that His salvation for us is for His own name’s sake. He alone is glorified in all things, and it’s a great comfort to us, first, because we know this is good and right.

2Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins. 3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Our peace and pardon are tied to the work of Christ. When John the Baptist was questioned by the priests he specifically quoted this verse; he was the voice in the wilderness (Mk. 1:3; Jn. 1:23), and he prepared the way for the Lord Jesus. Jesus came and made straight everything that was crooked and revealed the glory of the Father just as His mouth had spoken.

Perhaps one of the most neglected and misunderstood truths in our day is that God alone is glorified in all things—even in forgiveness. He accomplished the warfare, He pardoned the iniquity, He raised up the voice in the wilderness, He exalted the valleys and made low the mountains and straightened the crooked paths.

Everything is for His glory alone and for no one else, and we’re comforted knowing that all glory goes to Him just as it should.

And because He alone is glorified…

The hope He gives us is sure (:6-8)

6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Now here we see a brief contrast between God and man. What is man? What is his strength? We’re compared to nothing more than grass! Even a dull blade knocks down grass; even a child can pluck it from the ground; the grass withers and the flowers fade just as men wither and fade. There is no strength in our arms able to free us from our desperate situation. We’re here today and gone tomorrow almost without any notice.

But look at the word of the Lord! It endures forever and ever. There is no wind strong enough to blow it away; there is no heat hot enough to cause it to wither; there isn’t enough time in all eternity to cause it to even fade. What the mouth of the Lord has spoken will be accomplished because His word endures forever!

Be comforted knowing that your hope is sure because of His word. But that’s not all…

It’s sure because He Himself leads us (:9-11)

9O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! 10Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 11He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Look at the work of God in these verses: His strong hand and arm rule over all creation. His reward is with Him and it’s according to His own work! Don’t miss that…the covenant of our salvation is in nothing we’ve done but in what the arm of the Lord has done, and so the reward is not something we earn but something we inherit in Christ Jesus!

What good news and glad tidings: we’re like grass that withers and fades, but the Lord of heaven and earth has spoken salvation and acted on our behalf so that we’re led by Him as sheep are led by a shepherd.

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