“Announce God's Coming and Comfort”

Isaiah 40:1-11 Dec.4, 2005  Play video

A Message to Shout

•     long-awaited announcement of federal election not startling news
•     discouraging situation of Jews exiled in Babylon
•     announcement to speak / call / cry out / shout (40:2f,6,9)
•     Christians also to bring good tidings/news – about Christ (Mk 16:15)

1) God’s Presence is Near

•     highway in the wilderness for captives to return to Jerusalem (40:3; Neh 2:8)
•     “Here is your God!”: arrival / ‘advent’ (40:9)
•     3 comings: from exile; Jesus’ earthly life; Christ’s second coming (Is 52:7ff; Mt 21:5; Rev 22:12)

2) God’s Punishment is Satisfied

•     gap between holy exalted God, unclean humans (Is 6:3,5; 40:12-28)
•     Jerusalem’s sin has been paid for, hard service completed (40:1f)
•     God blots out transgressions for His own sake; sweeps away offenses in kindness, mercy (Is 43:25; 44:22; Titus 3:3ff)
•     Lord laid our iniquity on Jesus (Is 40:16; Is 53:6)
•     controversy over Homolka’s freedom, whether has paid her debt
•     Jesus frees from slavery to sin, internal prisons (Jn 8:34,36)

3) God’s Glory is Shared

•     all will see God’s glory; human glory falls (40:5f)
•     C Black wealthy newspaper tycoon / lord, now arraigned on fraud charges
•     God’s glory fills the earth, is seen in Jesus and followers (6:3; Jn 12:41, 1:14, 11:41, 17:4; Lk 2:14; Heb 1:3; 2Cor 3:18, 4:6; 1Cor 10:31)

4) God’s Leading is Strong yet Gentle

•     Lord comes with power, arm rules, repays wrath to unjust enemies (40:10; 59:15ff)
•     yet carries lambs, gently leads those with young, binds up the injured (40:11; Jer 31:10-14; Ezek 34:16)
•     God’s Servant / Messiah won’t break bruised reed; gives weary & burdened rest (Mt 11:28, Jn 21:15ff)
•     Christian leaders to be shepherds, serving not ‘lording it over’ (1Pet 5:2f)
•     Swaziland king setting bad example in poor HIV+ nation

Another Step in Faithful Service

•     Canadian doctor moving to Uganda to “Save The Mothers” (www.savethemothers.org)
•     don’t idolize overseas workers: each needs to be faithful to God’s calling
•     show God’s glory, share His power through serving those we meet

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