3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
We are now in week 2 of Advent, and our focus redirects this week to the importance of faith.
Isaiah the prophet had so many good things to share. Chapter 40 is a treasure of comfort for God’s people, and God begins His message through Isaiah with “Comfort, comfort my people… speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins” (1-2). Judah was a war-torn, beaten-up nation when they received that message. As a whole, the people of the nation thought that God had given up on them. But God had not abandoned them. He speaks tenderly these words of comfort.
But what would God do to bring about the security and comfort of His people? What way would He work to bring those things to pass?
God sent a messenger ahead of Him, a voice, to clear the way. “Prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Whatever God was about to do would take faith to believe, and that was God’s intent, to call on His people to believe on Him.
It would take a miracle, a mountain-shifting miracle to show Judah that God was still in control. It would have to be a miracle on par with making the rough terrain of treacherous mountains with thieves and hidden dangers on the eastern path to Jerusalem as smooth as a plain. Can God eliminate threats by making even the mountains flat – leveling the field of battle?
Hundreds of years after Isaiah spoke these words, a voice did cry in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” John the Baptist preached his message of repentance and belief in the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. The way forward that Isaiah said God was making was the way of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. Jesus is the glory of the LORD revealed.
This week we will learn more of Jesus as the “Way” of God. We will be challenged to exercise our faith in Him, to believe on Him. And we will be comforted by our powerful and majestic God.
As we close, consider your faith. Do you recognize that God intends comfort for you? Do you believe that He speaks tenderly to you, wanting you not to see your sin as insurmountable but the certainty of salvation through His Son Jesus? God is so eager to display His own matchless glory through the giving of His Son, and He has made a way for you to bring your sin to Him and find forgiveness and complete acceptance in Christ.
That is the way forward. By faith, walk in that way today.