As we continue our Week 1 Advent study, the ancient prophets foretold that the Messiah would be clearly announced – there would be no missing the fact that Messiah had come.
Here is one such prophecy:
3 A voice cries:(Isaiah 40:3-5, English Standard Version)
“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.”
Isaiah uses a geographic analogy to paint a picture of the Messiah’s spokesperson. In ancient cultures, the desert or wilderness sometimes represented God’s chastisement for disobedience – God’s discipline to restore those who had wandered far from Him.
The wilderness sometimes represented a place of testing, training, and empowerment. This was not a place of discipline, but of preparation in a place free from distractions. Part of this preparation was a renewing of the person’s commitment to God. In the wilderness, all the unnecessary baggage of life is left behind; only what is truly needed is retained.
In this place of repentance and return to the Lord, either for disciplinary or preparatory purposes, the Messiah would come, and He would be announced by another who went before Him.
We all go through wilderness places in our life, don’t we?
Some times are like low valleys, where it’s hard to feel anything, and it takes all our energy just to get out of bed and go through the day on auto-pilot.
Some times are like mountains before us, and the path seems insurmountable – there is no way over, under, or around the obstacle in front of us.
But God provides hope and a way forward through life’s lows and highs, and uses His spokesperson to show the way.
And who is this way? Who is our Hope? Jesus, the Messiah.
And who is His spokesperson? John the Baptist, and you and me.
If today is a struggle with lows or highs, allow me to introduce you to Jesus, the Messiah, the Promised One of God. May you find your hope and peace in Him.
And may you share the good news of Jesus with others that need hope.
Sharing from the abundance of hope God has shared with me,