Comfort for God’s People
1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD ;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Our Great Comforter
And so begins the next section of the Isaiah, which proclaims Comfort for the nation of Israel. For those of you who have labored through the previous 39 chapters of Isaiah, this feels like something of a relief, doesn’t it?…after all the prophecies of doom and condemnation given previously. If that is how we feel about it as readers of Isaiah, imagine how the people hearing the prophecies of Isaiah at that time must have felt – these words would have been an enormous comfort to them in a time of great tumult!
And notice how this promise of comfort and peace begins: that sins will be paid for, a prophecy of a voice in the wilderness preparing a way for the Lord, God’s glory being revealed, and humankind literally seeing God – these are all signs that point to the coming of Christ, for it is through his ministry that sins would be atoned for, and through his incarnation that God’s glory would be revealed, and in seeing Jesus, we see God!
You see, true lasting comfort and peace begins with Christ. What Christ brings in his ministry cannot be imitated by any job, spouse, or house – forgiveness from sins; a restored relationship to our Creator; a hope for the future; a family in the present. So if any of us need comfort in our lives right now, we need look no further than Jesus – our Great Comforter.
1. Are you in need of comfort for anything in your life?
2. How does the ministry, presence, or person of Christ provide that comfort for you?
3. As we are also called to imitate Christ, is there someone who needs comfort? What can you do to provide?