Jun. 20. Comfort for God’s People

Is. 40:1-41:29

The previous writings of Isaiah contained prophecies of judgment, doom, disaster and captivity in a foreign land for God’s people. Even the same consequences would befall those nations who would be inflicting God’s punishment. However, brighter days began to be predicted for the future of Israel/Judah. Much was prophesied regarding the coming Savior and His kingdom.

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” The prophet could visualize the end of their physical captivity. He could also see the end of spiritual captivity from sin as the voice in the wilderness cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord…” Many years later, John the baptist was the one who prepared the way of the Lord.

In contrast to the temporary nature of man, God’s word will last forever. When man turns to God, he reaps the reward that has been promised to him. God’s gentle care for man was compared to the care that a shepherd has for his sheep. However, nothing can be adequately compared with the greatness and power of our God, the creator of all things.

The prophet asked a redundant question regarding who had performed all things and was over them. God’s answer—“I, the Lord, am the first; And with the last I am He.” He reaffirmed His commitment to Israel that they had been chosen and that He would strengthen them. Those who had been against Israel would be as nothing.

“Fear not, I will help you.” Israel would be renewed and God would provide for their needs. He reminded them of the futility of following heathen idol gods. They can neither tell events of past nor show the things that are to come. “Indeed they are all worthless; Their works are nothing; Their molded images are wind and confusion.”