In BSF this week, we moved from Woe to Comfort as we began chapter 40. I have been so instructed by the first 39 chapters, I can’t imagine what is to come!
So, this chapter begins with Comfort!
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 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. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:1-11 ESV)
Principles from today’s lesson:
1. God’s forgiveness strengthens his people to leave their past behind.
-the occasion for forgiveness is failure
-but we must remember that God has forgiven, we are covered, and he is now restoring us to himself.
-Romans 2:4 “…God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.”
2. God’s presence strengthens His people to repent. To turn from sin and turn to God.
-God is light. He is pure and Holy.
-When he shines on us, we are exposed!
-Are we willing to let God cause huge upheaval in our lives? to ‘wreck’ everything?
-once we are exposed to our sin, we must not become bogged down by it.
-are we paralyzed to move out of that dark place? what are we holding on to?
3. Repentance is comfort God’s presence gives to his people.
-this is where we stay in the light
-we understand how much God has forgiven us and we can forgive others.
4. God’s unchanging word strengthens his people to live with an eternal perspective.
-we can trust God’s word, live by these truths today and forever.
5. God himself is the greatest joy and comfort we have.
-He is all we need, our source of all comfort.
-He comforts us through his promises, presence and his provision.
I am still very much reflecting on all these principles .. thankfully, we will be spending 3 weeks on this chapter .. it is so rich.