Isaiah 40 contains prophetic words later echoed in Luke 3 regarding the ministry of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a precursor to Jesus Christ and he preached a baptism of repentance. John’s ministry was a preparing of the way for eternal salvation to come through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
As most prophecies come to pass, these words first spoken through Isaiah held true to the woeful condition of the nation of Israel, as well as seven hundred years later for the people of the Messianic era. Now, over two thousand years later, God’s voice recorded through Isaiah echoes into our modern era of technology, intelligence, and self-sufficiency with soul piercing accuracy, warning, and hope.
“Every valley shall be lifted and filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked and uneven shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory (majesty and splendor) of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. [Luke 3:5, 6.]”
Isaiah 40:4-5 AMPC
God given prophecy, much like His sovereignty, has a way of covering all people for all time. I believe there is a message in Isaiah 40 that both holds true and holds an abundance of truth for us today.
In these times of unrest and uncertainty about our future and that of our families and our country, spiritual discernment, or the ability to “see” and understand how God is moving and working, seems foggy at best. Nevertheless, be assured that the God of the universe is at work! Let Isaiah 40 be a reminder of how God will reveal Himself in times that call for repentance and a return home.
Our valleys of sadness and mountain top experiences of joy are being leveled by unknowns and unanswered questions. Valleys and mountains that once induced undeniable feelings are now in the rear view mirror and we find ourselves gazing forward into a level plain with no recognizable cues on how to feel.
Does anyone really know how to feel right now?
At least in the valley we can still see the mountaintops and remember the heartfelt joy and celebration of God’s grace. On the mountaintops, we gain a perspective of the valleys below that helps us feel both grateful and humbled about how far the Lord has brought us. Yet in the level plains where the road ahead is made straight, unchanging, and too far off in the distance for our spiritual eyes to focus, we suddenly lose perspective. When the view ahead remains the same, the feelings inside that once drove our experiences go dormant.
Lord, tell me how I’m supposed to feel?
Maybe the answer is hidden in the question. Maybe we aren’t supposed to feel anything. According to Isaiah 40:5 we are going to SEE it together. Maybe all this is happening to us on a global level because God is revealing Himself and his glory on a level plain for ALL to see. Maybe this is living breathing prophesy.
While we learn to have faith and persevere in the hills and valleys, we also tend to become emotional junkies there. In the valleys we want to feel better. On the mountaintops we want to feel in control. We pray about how we want to feel, not about Who we need to trust.
When God wants to reveal Himself in a mighty way, He does it through undeniable spiritual vision. Perhaps He’s using a global pandemic as a voice, like John the Baptist, once again crying out from the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. As it is written in Luke 3: 5-6 (AMPC), “Every valley and ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be leveled; and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough roads shall be made smooth; And all mankind shall see (behold and understand and at last acknowledge) the salvation of God (the deliverance from eternal death decreed by God). [Isa. 40:3-5.]”
When you wake up tomorrow and you still don’t know how to feel, don’t be afraid to behold what God has filled up, leveled, made straight, and smooth. Don’t be afraid to behold the ultimate deliverance from the unknown and the unanswered questions. Listen for the voice crying out from the wilderness. God is preparing the way.