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So today, we will start reading Chapter 40, which talks about the message of liberation.
It can be understood as a liberation from the Babylonian captivity, or as a message of liberation from sin by Christ. Not only that, it can be understood as the work of God’s perfect liberation that He gives in the last days. Now, please read Chapter 40.
Isaiah 40:1 says,「Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.」The new era has come when the message of comfort is spoken. Verse 2 says,「Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.」No matter how miserable and sad the experience of the Babylonian captivity was, the time of liberation has come. It is said that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for. This message is not limited to Jewish people. It is also a message to us, Christians who are invited to the new Jerusalem. No matter how miserable our previous life may be, we will be free from trouble, our sins will be paid, and the time of liberation will come. This message of comfort comes from Jesus Christ. Verse 3 says,「A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.」This prophetic word refers to John the Baptist in the New Testament. He shouted in the wilderness. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”(Matthew 3:2 NIV)
We also want to establish a long-awaited attitude for the Savior. By faith, we can receive a message of comfort.
In verses 6-8, It talks about human fraility. That is why we need to believe in God’s Word and trust Him. Our life is like grass. Its glory is like a wild flower, but it says,「The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”」(Isaiah 40:8 NIV)
I imagine this message brought hope to these people who were about to experience the Babylonian captivity. At the same time, I believe that this message speaks to us that if we do not know the frailty of life, we cannot fully understand the value of the gospel.
From verses 9 to 11, the closing words of the message of comfort are written. We believers need to convey this message of comfort. We speak as long as we can that Jesus Christ is my savior, my shepherd, and the one who carries me close to his heart. (11)
Verses 12-26 clarifies to the reader who God is. Using the words “with whom” and “to what” (18), it clarifies the existence of the Creator, God. Verse 26 says,「Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name…」(Reference; Psalm 147: 4. ) The one who created us calls the names of each of us.
Verses 27-31 are the passage of the invitation to faith. As you can see in verse 27, people are easy to get lost. There are times when we could close our hearts saying “No one cares to listen to my complain!” However, we should live in response to the invitation from verse 28. Our God wants to give us comfort. He is the one who can give us redemption of our sins. He has great power and mighty strength. (26) And He is the one who created everything and He knows each of us. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (29)
Let us read Isaiah 40:30-31.「Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.」
Together, Let us look up at the eternal God, our Creator. Let’s wait for Him, as our strength will be renewed, we will soar on wings like eagles. Instead of being caught in the small world, let us take a look at the world from the perspective of God. Together, I would like to respond to this invitation to faith.