Summary: If we are to be ready for the coming of the Lord, we must listen to the voice
Mayor Gerardo Balmori
The Salvation Army
The prophet Isaiah hears a voice. The voice tells us about the coming of the Lord.
C. THESIS: If we are to be ready for the coming of the Lord, we must listen to the voice.
I. WHERE THE VOICE IS HEARD (v. 3)
A. We hear it in the desert.
1. Quite often the word “desert” in the Bible does not simply refer to a geographic location, but
to some aspect of the desert itself and the effect this land has on people. The Israelites
wandered in the desert for 40 years. King David fled into the desert from King Saul. Jesus was
tempted in the desert.
The desert is a barren and terrifying place where people cannot live easily.
It’s a dry place, where water is rarely found and people grow thirsty. It is lonely, sometimes
characterized by a solitude that is threatening and frightening. It’s desolate, often used to
symbolize the desolation that has come upon the nation of Israel because of her sin.
B. The desert times in our lives are dry and barren, but the voice calls to us where
You may feel like today that you are in the desert. The desert of your life may feel like a
spiritually barren wasteland. Your soul is dry and parched. You are weary and thirsty – in need
of living water. You may find yourself living consistently without taking any significant time for
prayer, or having difficult time worshiping or witnessing; nothing seems to please you or give
you peace. The climate of your life is extreme – intense heat and pressure by day – bonechilling
icy cold by night.
And yet the voice cries out. To you and to me. In the desert. In the wasteland. Where it’s dry.
Where we’re tired. Where there is little sign of any life. Where we feel abandoned. Where we
feel distant. Where we feel lost or discouraged or confused. Where we’ve secluded ourselves.
Where we’ve withering away. The voice cries out.
And the startling sound of the voice crying out reminds us of God’s unfailing love.
He wants to take up residence in our lives once again!
II. WHY THE VOICE CRIES OUT (v. 3-4)
A. We have to make some preparations
1. The language in Isaiah 40:3-4 pictures a representative being sent ahead to prepare the way
for a visiting king.
2. A giant road must be made,– it says a road which is completely clear of any obstacles, letting
nothing stand in the way. (read v. 4) – A super highway just for God!
God himself will return to Jerusalem. He will take up residence there with his people, and they
will see him as he lives among them. He is coming to meet them there, and his name is Jesus
Christ, Jesus the Messiah! Prepare the way for him! Get rid of every obstacle in your heart and
in your life that stands in the way of you receiving him. And for us today,
B. The voice calls us to repent
1. In the New Testament, John the Baptist became this voice and prepared the way for Jesus
Christ by saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2)
2. Simply put, “to repent” means “to change.”
To turn around from sinful ways, sinful habits and sinful practices, leaving them behind us for
good. Repent – throw off your hypocrisy, your falsehood, your disregard for God’s rules.
Jesus Christ comes to take up residence in our lives. Born as a baby in humble, exalted to the
right hand of God the Father, he waits for us to invite him into our hearts as Savior and Lord.
III. WHAT THE VOICE PROMISES (v. 5)
A. We will see God’s glory revealed
1. God promises that the sign of his presence and power will be visible and experienced in
Jerusalem once again.
The day is coming, the prophet says, when God will walk among you.
2. This is an event that “all mankind together will see.”
It’s nothing secret. Nothing hidden. The Word of God has preserved the record of these events
forever. The voice cries out. . .
B. Jesus Christ is coming!
The spiritual preparations for Christmas ultimately prepare us for this final return.
We don’t repent and clean out our hearts just so that we can celebrate Christmas in a more
spiritual way. We repent and make these preparations so that we are ready to welcome Christ
on the day of his appearing. So that we know him and he knows us. Now that we still have
today, we prepare the guest room of our hearts so that nothing stands in the way of him taking
up residence there. We make our hearts open wide to his will and his ways – living every day as