December 11 - Isaiah 40:1-11
v.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."
No one may be happier about Bethesda's new parking lot than our oldest son, Ezra. Last Christmas he received a Dodge Viper power wheels car, but quickly discovered the impact of potholes on plastic tires. On several occasions, his whip was garaged for days while awaiting replacement tires. "Where are you, new tires!" Today it is smooth driving on the new blacktop and Jude has even begun to take turns behind the wheel.
The prophet Isaiah comforted an Israel in exile across the desert from home. A highway for God would be prepared in the wilderness. On this straight and level path God would guide the people home from Babylon, as a shepherd tends his flock.
This prophecy achieves its ultimate significance in the work of John the Baptist. John prepares the way of Jesus through his own wilderness campaign. Strikingly, when Jesus arrives on the scene, John does not call him the shepherd, but the lamb! "Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
Jesus is the new blacktop and the Dodge Viper at once. And the wheels never come off God's promises!
God of all comfort, retrieve us from our wandering and guide us in the way of Jesus, that we might come home for good. Amen..