Saturday, December 4, 2010

Comfort for God's People

Chapter 40 of Isaiah begins with, "Comfort," which means "to console or to give encouragement in times of despair or sorrow." Isaiah talks about the healing and restoration in the future of the Israelites. They were to receive the pardon (a gentle hand, forgiveness) from God for their wickedness, for they had been punished double-handed (more than seventy years); their debt was now paid in full. Isaiah, the prophet, reminds me of a coach trying to inspire and encourage his players before the season begins, before an upcoming game or during the game. However, the coach's words will in no way compare with the assurance provided by the Word of God. God is the only true security. Isaiah tries to prepare them for their return to Jerusalem from Babylon. Perhaps their years in captivity had left them mentally and spiritually deprived. He lets them know that there is a straight highway for God to them, no obstacle will hinder His access to them. God has direct, divine access to those He love, all the time, including times of trouble. If you have been alienated, dislocated, or disenfranchised from the love of God, He has paved a way through Jesus Christ to set you free. Our debt has been paid in full. Jesus paid the price for our liberation and comfort.

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