2000-03-13 - The Way Prepared
The Prophecies Fulfilled Series, Part 5
Isaiah 40:3-5, "A voice is calling, 'Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness' make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'"
Luke 3:3-6, "And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, 'The voice of one calling out in the wilderness, Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough roads smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
First we might inquire what is meant by the word wilderness. It is a term that is really equal to the word desert, but it has a notion that might be a little different that what we commonly think of as a desert. The wilderness or desert in Hebrew usually was used in reference to a part of land that was only useful for grazing. It would be a land destitute of wood, but worthwhile for pasture.
Having lived for three years in the deserts of Arizona, I find the Hebrew meaning exactly in keeping with my experience. The desert does have life, and in the Spring and rain seasons the deserts come to life with flowers the mind can barely imagine if they are not seen.
But the desert is also a desolate place. And the prophecy and fulfillment speak of the desert being filled up with the glory of the Lord. These grim, desolate places are filled with God's glory and as a result, in comparision, everything else is brought low, including the mountains. It is a wonderful thought. When the glory of the Lord fills the desert, even the high places are lower in stature than the desert.
Christ did not glorify Himself (Hebrews 5:5) but God "Crowned Him with glory and honor." (Hebrews 2:7) In at least several ways, we either reflect His glory in the way we live our lives and in the faith we have, or we fail to reflect His glory in those ways. Christians have the privilege and responsibility of reflecting God's glory to a fallen world. We ought to be people who are filled with His glory and radiate it just as the desert will. Let us strive to live our lives in such a manner.
"As the light of the moon is swallowed up by the brightness of the sun, so the shining achievements of men and women are swallowed up by the glory of God." Janice Wise
Soli Deo Gloria,