It was away back in November 2019, when I wanted to look at what are called “The Servant Songs”, in Isaiah, that as I read these Chapters, it was Isaiah Chapter 40 which first attracted my attention afresh.
When that happens there is very often a reason, of which I may never know.
The people of Israel have been captives - prisoners - exiles - in Babylon - modern day Iraq - for around 50 years – disciplined because of disobedience. That is the scenario.
They had been disobedient to God - the Father of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. They had been given many opportunities to repent - to turn back to God - to say sorry for the way they had been living.
They had refused to hear various preachers and prophets sent by God.
How long would they remain prisoners? How long would they have to suffer?
They were so sad – the Psalmist informs us that they could not sing.
Jerusalem has fallen – the Exiles have experienced a terrible time.
The Davidic dynasty has been in suspension – the Temple has been razed to the ground – but God will prove His superiority over all enemies.
They are taken away into Babylon – modern Iraq – for 70 years.
God is willing – and is able – and is determined – to bring His people back to Jerusalem – and God will demonstrate His Power.
There is a lot of sadness around today - with few signs of victory.
The good news is - God's anger does not last for ever! And God gives His man Isaiah a word to preach - a message to proclaim.
It is a word of comfort - If you need a word of comfort today this word is for you.
Comfort means to fortress – to fortify – to strengthen you - the word means "to be with strength" - to make you strong and impregnable, like a castle.
God says - Preach to my people - a word of comfort.
Tell My People I love them - tell My people - This is Your God speaking! O to hear the voice of God - and we hear the voice of God through the Word of God.
Speak tenderly to broken ravaged destroyed Jerusalem.
Isaiah - Comfort My people - Comfort My people.
Tell my people they have had enough suffering - speak tenderly to my people. Fill them with courage so that they can face what they have to face.
When you comfort someone, you do not molly-coddle them. You do not wrap them in cotton wool and keep them from the truth.
Comforting is putting strength into people's hearts, and Jesus Christ teaches us that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter.
The Holy Spirit gives strength for today and strength for to-morrow.
To tell people that things are all right when they are not, is deceitful misleading and lying.
These verses are often read during what is called the season of Advent –referring to the Glory of the Coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ – it means the breaking in of the divine into human history – at Bethlehem – and also when Christ returns.
Let the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ break into your life anew and afresh with love and light and comfort and courage.
“Gracious God, come to me again – anew and afresh. You know what I so need this day. As You came to Your people imprisoned and exiled in Babylon – come again and break through – into my heart – into my life – even into this world in mercy and grace – before Jesus finally returns. Amen”
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