The Advent of Hope

Advent-CandlesA Devotional Thought based on Isaiah 40:1-11

We are fragile beings. Jesus will say our life is like a vapor or a mist, here right now and then gone in a flash, blown away by nothing more than a gentle breeze. To a child, 70 years seems a long time. To a 70 year old person, it was just yesterday that they were a child. Life is fragile, and life is short. It is easy to lose hope and to begin to wonder, “How can I stand before God?”.  Isaiah 40 gives us a word picture to describe the especially fragile condition of our soul before God’s Holy Word, when he says,

“A voice says, Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”    
                                ~ Isaiah 40:6-8 ~

But then the prophet gets a vision of the GOOD NEWS! He is told to get up on the top of Mount of Zion (the Temple Mount) and shout and tell everyone that the Lord is coming with power and an outstretched arm. That He is bringing with Him a reward (eternal life) for His people. The Lord is coming to them, and they should be on the look out for Him. But instead of looking for a mighty military general to throw off the empires of the world, they are told to look for a shepherd. Because that’s what we need, a Great Shepherd for our souls. “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; He will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young (Isaiah 40:11). We have a Shepherd who has overcome sin and death, and who WILL reward His people with eternal life. A shepherd that knows their fragile human condition, because He would come and bear it. That’s the Incarnation. That’s not a maybe hope, that is a sure hope.

“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
                                ~ Matthew 12:18-21~

Soli Deo Gloria

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