God had a lot to say to Israel because of their backsliding. They were God’s people but had given into the world. They suffered chastisement from God. Hezekiah reigned at this time and tried to bring the people back to God. This message was sent through Isaiah.
Isaiah 40: 1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Comfort ye my people. The same God who chastised Israel said this. The straight and narrow way and the broad way are before us. It’s up to us which way we go. It’s either believe the devil and be deceived or believe the Lord. It’s increasingly hard to find people who trust the Lord. We used to have confidence in the government, in all our neighbors but not anymore. We have to be cautious because so many people cannot be trusted. We have to keep our guard up. We don’t have to put up our guard with God. We can trust him. We can have a family love for and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Through Jesus we are family and only God can bring that bond and comfort to us. That’s rare now days. People betray each other but God never lets us down. We can count on him and each other. It’s good to have support while we live our Christian life.
When Israel came back to God he said comfort ye. We long for comfort. Comfort is a help that soothes. It calms and gives peace. It takes pain away. We are to comfort and encourage one another. God help if I’m a discomfort to others. We ought to comfort. It’s not kissing up. It’s loving each other. God wanted to comfort the people and bless them. Second Corinthians 1 says Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. If we can grasp these instructions we will see the reason God wants us to stick together. We need each other. We need to comfort each other. How much more should we do that than the world?
God doesn’t sell us a bill of goods of false peace and then let us down. He comes through. He’s able to and will perform his promises. When he soothes, you’re soothed. He treats the cause and the symptoms are taken care of. He caused us to weep but he’ll also dry the tears. He chastises but he’ll give us peace. His comfort overflows with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people. The warfare is accomplished. We all go through struggles. We face the issues of the day. Between you and me is Jesus, the Captain of our salvation. Struggles have an end. We’re winners. If we trust and encourage each other as we take God’s encouragement, we’ll come out ahead. Iniquity is pardoned. God convicts us of our sin. Our parents knew when we did wrong. We didn’t get by. We don’t get by with God. The chastisement comes. He wants a better way for us, the way of comfort.
At any given moment something in verse 4 faces us: a valley, a mountain, a crooked way, a rough place. When troubles come, they come from every which way. God promised comfort when we trust him. Every valley shall be exalted: God is in the valley with us and raises it up. Not only will he raise us, he raises the valley itself. Only God can do that. Every mountain and hill shall be made low: No matter how hard and haughty the mountain seems and we don’t know what to do, God can level those mountains. The crooked shall be made straight: If I mess up, there is forgiveness. It’s not a license to sin. God doesn’t fail. If not for his straightening power, we would fail. We have balance as a Christian. At times life gets out of balance. God is the balancer. That’s the comfort of God. The rough places plain: We’re in rough times and worse times are ahead. It’s a threatening time for individuals and for the church. Thank God that no matter how rough, it will be made smooth.
This comfort is more than praying for each other. It’s comfort that soothes and heals. There is nothing like feeling safe. Life hurts enough. Give the Lord your heart. Commit your way to him. He will bring comfort, and we’ll make it through.