Rev. Sean Smith, pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in West Point, IL and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wine Hill, IL, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Isaiah 40:1-11.
This beloved Advent text marks a turning point in the book of Isaiah. The first 39 chapters are marked by Isaiah’s preaching of judgment against the LORD’s people; his preaching was fulfilled years after Isaiah’s ministry in the Babylonian conquest. Now the prophet turns to comfort the people mourning in exile with the Word from God that He has forgiven His people’s sins and brought their warfare to an end. Isaiah foretells the ministry of John the Baptist as one who will proclaim this good news in order to prepare the way of the Lord. Although mankind and all his ability will one day fade away, hope for salvation is found in the Word of God which endures forever. Such joyous news calls for proclamation by all who believe it. Our God comes with might to rule over us as a Shepherd who gently leads us by His Word.
“Advent with the Prophets” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Old Testament readings appointed for the season of Advent. This holy season of repentance focuses our attention on Christ’s coming. As we spend time hearing the words of the prophets, the saints who waited patiently in the years before Christ’s coming in the flesh at Christmas, we too are prepared to receive Christ now in His Word and Sacrament, even as we wait for Him to come again in glory.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Comfort for God’s People
40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare[a] is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord‘s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries:[b]
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The Word of God Stands Forever
6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said,[c] “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty[d] is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
The Greatness of God
9 Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;[e]
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;[f]
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 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 40:2 Or hardship
- Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one crying
- Isaiah 40:6 Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says
- Isaiah 40:6 Or all its constancy
- Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Zion
- Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.