A friend of mine brought this thought to my attention a while back but it wasn’t until recently that God reintroduced it into my life and I began thinking, meditating, and chewing on Isaiah’s words in chapter 40, especially verses 3-5 [click here for the whole chapter]:
This passage is echoed by John [the baptizer] and speaks of a coming King who’s path needs to be cleared as he is ushered in. Most commentaries that I have read would agree that the mountains and valley’s are metaphors of the heart as we make straight the crooked paths of our lives for the coming King to enter in [remember John preached and baptized for the repentance of sins]. Some heeded John’s warning willingly out of humility and fear of the Lord while others are humbled as they reach the limits of the things they put their trust in [power, money, and abilities].
Jesus had a way of leveling the playing field for all of us as He spoke of a Kingdom with upside down methods and an inverted way of thinking. We see it reflected in the words of Paul and a similar theme [even similar language] throughout the entire bible:
- The first will be last and the last will be first (Matt 10:16)
- Whoever wanted to be great would have to be a servant (Matt. 20: 26).
- Paul tells us to boast in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
- God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Cor. 1:27).
- Jesus gave us the example as He emptied Himself as nothing, taking the very nature of a servant (Phil. 2:6-11).
- Believers should not take pride in their high positions and the rich should boast in their humiliation (James 9-11)
- 2 Samuel 22:8, Isaiah 2:11, Psalm 18:27, Luke 14:11, Isaiah 5:15, Luke 1:52, Psalm 72:11, Proverbs 29:23, and the entire story of Exodus are examples of God’s tendency to raise the lowly and bring down those who are living out of their strength, might, or riches.
What if Isaiah were also speaking to us today? Perhaps in preparation for the second coming of Christ or perhaps simply in the likeness of John’s heart to see us willingly come to God’s grace in repentance so that we aren’t. Since the Bible was written and based in the mindset of community, people groups, and nations, I decided to ask myself a few questions about our current culture! Who are the valleys? Who are the mountains? Most Americans [and the rest of the world] would agree that America could hardly be described as a humble, poor, valley. Is it possible that He is trying to get our attention through recessions and housing market collapses to humble ourselves before we are humbled? Could we willingly reach down out of our mountain top to help out and lift up those who are in valleys valleys?
I am not trying to sound like a doomsayer but we can’t deny that Jesus IS coming again as a righteous Judge. Nations change with small beginnings and it starts with how each one of us lives our lives, use our finances, and the way we spend our time. Which leads me to the final question. This is the question that I feel God posed to me:
“Do you think I didn’t mean what I said or do you not fear me?”