“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD ‘ S hand Double for all her sins.” A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; (Isaiah 40:1-4 NASB)
Encouragement to soul is like water to the body. A soul can thrive from the encouragement of a loved one or a dear friend. Our souls can also wither, suffocate and die when encouragement is withheld from us. Charles Stanley shares his story of feeling rejection and dejected. One day a teacher said of him in hearing, “I like Charles, he’s a good boy.” To this day, he never forgot it. After 70 years, he’s still encouraged by that comment. If I were to ask you who has been the most influential person in your life, no doubt you will mention those who encouraged you and stood by you. Our souls crave encouragement!
God, the Creator of the universe, is our ultimate Encourager! He longs to breath Words of comfort, healing and strength in our souls. He declares in this passage to comfort His people and speak tenderly to their hearts. He tells them that He’s got their backs! How does that in two ways…
The first way is by relieving them from war and the penalty of sin. He tells them that Israel “has received of the Lord’s Hand double for all her sins.” Does that mean that they paid for the penalty of sin? Of course not! What I believe this passage is saying is God is satisfied for all the ways they’ve tried to pay for their sin. An example of this is when your kindergarden child comes home with a drawing. You cherish the drawing as if it is the Mona Lisa. It does not have the value of the Mona Lisa because you can’t sell it and pay off your bills. However, you receive it as the Mona Lisa and yet pay the bills.
The same is true for God and Israel. God knew that no matter how many animals were sacrificed, Israel could never atone for Her sin. But God has received her gifts as a double payment and still covered for Her sin! He’s got their backs! And He has our backs because He’s covered our sin through His Son too!
Second way God has our back is by sending a forerunner to prepare the way for the Messiah. God will level every mountain and smooth out any roadblocks. He is not holding back and will not be intimidated or hindered by anything that stands in the way.
Today, we can take Him at His Word. God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. The first purpose is to clean our hearts and souls from any impurity and the second purpose is to use us for His Glory. He will level the mountains and make the way smooth to make that happen.
You can count on it!
Father, thank You that Your Word tells me You are the God of Comfort and Encouragement. Today, Lord, I need You to breath your Words of encouragement in my soul. Today, I need You to clean my soul from any impurities. Today, I need You to help me see that no obstacle will stand in the way for You fulfilling your purpose for my life. Today, I just need You to speak to my soul and replenish and refresh it with Your love. Thank you that You love me and You’ve got my back! In Jesus Name I pray…Amen!