Summary: Isaiah spoke words of comfort to Israel even though God had already revealed the judgment to come. Those words of comfort still ring true to the Body of Christ today.
THE KING IS COMING!
Isaiah 40:1-11, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak 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. The 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. Every 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: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The 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: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O 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! Behold, 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. He 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."
In recent days we have been inundated with bad news. The cable news networks, AP and UPI have been humming with news of terrorism and of the war in Afghanistan with the promise that much more of the same bad news is yet to come. As I read this passage of scripture it seemed that God was telling me that I need to bring you some good news this morning. I believe that God is wanting to strengthen and bless His people.
Are you ready to be blessed? Are you ready for some good news for a change? There is no really good news outside of the promises of God.
In this passage of scripture the Prophet Isaiah is given a glimpse of the future of Israel. As those things that happened to Israel are given for our example I think that it would profit us greatly to examine these verses closely.
Isaiah lived at a time when Israel was steeped in idolatry and had forsaken the true God to worship the gods of Bel and Baal. God had enough of their spiritual adultery and He warned Israel, through Isaiah, that they would soon be brought under the horrible chastisement of God’s wrath. It would be only a few more years until they would, once again, be conquered by the Babylonians and led into captivity for 70 years.
Still, through all of this, the mercy, grace and love of God was revealed in the promise to bring Israel home once again.
Isaiah had preached repentance to Israel for a long time now. He knew what was coming and he failed not in his duty to cry out to Israel to return to the Lord God. But, they would not hear his cry. They would not fall down before God in repentance. They were running headlong into destruction because they were blinded to what lay ahead by Satan himself. Now, before Israel was conquered, we hear Isaiah as he begins to reveal the Word of the Lord to a nation steeped in sin.