'Word from Scotland' with Sandy Shaw
Originally posted on 02/10/2020
Isaiah Chapter 40 is not solely a word of comfort, but a revelation of the grace of God. God’s people need divine intervention as they are languishing in exile in Babylon.
How many are languishing and imprisoned in spiritual exile?
There are four voices in this passage crying in the darkness and in the suffering.
These are verses to read when you are going through it - when you are being persecuted - when times are difficult.
They begin with a whisper and end with a shout.
God is wooing His people. This was preached 2,700 years ago and yet is so needed today.
Tell My People that her hard service is over - it has been completed. Her period of suffering and warfare is past. It is the word used following times of conscription. Tell her that she is being demobbed - set free - released from this painful past.
She is about to go home - back to Jerusalem.
The warfare has stopped - she has paid for her sins - that is past.
Verse 3 – Isaiah - cry out - call out to My People – tenderly. "In the desert prepare for the way of the Lord - make a straight smooth road for ME."
Isaiah - be like a prophetic bulldozer - flatten the bumps - fill in the potholes - I am coming through the desert to My People – the King is coming to save – and men will see the glory of the Lord.
This is Personal Intervention by Almighty God.
These words were applied to John the Baptist as he prepared the way for the coming of Jesus – they are fulfilled by John, 600 years later.
When Jesus comes again it will be like a spiritually dry barren wilderness - but everyone will see it - everyone will know that HE has returned - and the glory of the Lord will be revealed.
Take away the stones – the boulders – Matthew 3 verse 2 – repent from your sins – make a highway for GOD – the one who is coming is GOD.
John’s ministry is a ministry of Repentance – to prepare the people.
God says to Isaiah - CRY OUT - but Isaiah is not very sure what to preach.
Tell the people that all men are like grass. Their fame and glory is very temporary.
Verse 5 – All mankind will see it – the glory of God – and the one who is to come – Jesus – is called Emmanuel – GOD WITH US.
Verse 6 – The voice said “CRY”. “What shall I cry?” They are like flowers in the field on a hot summer's day. Suddenly they disappear.
Man is so temporary – and God is eternal.
Verse 8 – Tell My People that the word of the Lord stands for ever. People come and go - but the word of our Lord stands for ever.
Verse 9 – Go to Zion - and to Jerusalem - to the towns of Judah - lift up your voice and shout out this Word - "Here is your God."
God is going to conquer His enemies. His arm rules. He is strong and mighty. He will see you released and returning to the land which HE has given you. He is a soldier king – and a caring Shepherd.
This is Good News to God’s People.
Verse 11. He will shepherd you back to Zion - back to Jerusalem - safely.
Sheep and lambs are safe in His arms.
Isaiah - as a prophet - as a preacher – you need to be strong - you need to speak clearly - and you need to speak tenderly.
They had been forced out - because of their sins. They had had a horrendous time. But as they return, God sees a little lamb who cannot walk - and who needs to be carried. God lifts those who are weak but wanting to go back, and He carries them close to His heart.
He sees those who are with young - ewes with lambs - and leads them gently.
Such tender personal intervention – out of where you are, to where Almighty God wants you to be.
“Our gracious loving heavenly Father – we thank You for so many personal interventions down across the centuries – and even in our own lives. Risen and living Jesus, speak to me from this ancient passage – lift me – place me where You want me to be in Your will – inspire me – motivate and encourage me to be the disciple you want me to become and be. Amen”