Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Clear the Road! Get That Dirt Out of the Way!

A Look At Prophecy In The Gospel of Matthew

Clear The Road 

Level The Hills And Mountains


Isaiah 40:3-5
Greek version reads: 

He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, / “Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! / Clear a road for our God! / Fill in the valleys, / and level the mountains and hills. / And then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, / and all people will see the salvation sent from God. / The Lord has spoken!”


 It should be every Christian's heart's desire
that all people see the salvation sent from God.

True, Christ came to bring the salvation sent from God. Christ comes in our day bringing the salvation sent from God. And, Christ is coming again bringing the salvation sent from God. In light of this truth, the ministry of John the Baptist remains to be continually fulfilled in our day and in the days preparing for the second coming of Christ. 

In the wilderness of our world that voice needs to ring out in the church day after day, year after year. Every Christian should desire that all people see the salvation sent from God! If we did, there would not be so many questions about the "injustice" of hell, the hypocrisy of the church,or whose role it is to reach the unreached - in America, in the clutches of the new slavery, in prison, in the places where the gospel is not clear, in the places where the gospel, to our knowledge, has never penetrated. Imagine the effect that could occur if the Muslim world could see, visually see, the salvation sent from God.

Sometimes we need to take our salvation out of the realm of the intellect and concentrate on making it visible.

We know the way to enter the kingdom!

Repent of your sins.
Turn to God.

Sounds so simple to us. Why can't others see it!
Why don't others respond to it?
What's wrong with them???

That question, or should I say the way we answer that last question gets us labeled judgmental. You see we ask the wrong question. That happens a lot in life. But this question is critical. It has to do with their eternal life. We know the answer and it should soften our hearts not harden them. It should lead to the right questions: What's wrong? Why can't they see the salvation of our God? Why don't they prepare the way of the Lord by repenting of their sin and turning to God?

That's where the second part of the Isaiah passage comes in.

John the Baptist literally and figuratively fulfilled Isaiah 40:3 crying in the wilderness:

Prepare the way of the Christ 
by repenting,
turning to God,
fleeing from God's wrath,
and proving 
by the way you live 
that you have repented and turned to God
for the Kingdom of God is near!

These things clear the road for the Lord's coming in our individual hearts and for the kingdom to be revealed. 

John was quite a phenomenon: the camels hair clothes of Elijah, a diet of locust and wild honey (most of us don't know the difference between a grasshopper and locust, between wild honey and domesticated honey), and living in the wilderness. People came to him - rather than he went to the people. 

Then Jesus came teaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God: It is near and even now among you! Where it indeed has remained.

But then there is today. Then there is the second part of Isaiah 40:3-5.

Fill in the valleys, / and level the mountains and hills. / And then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, / And all people will see the salvation sent from God.

There is still work to do! That is the answer to why others do not respond. 

We are the light of the world!

But the valleys, mountains, and hills prevent that light from being revealed . The valleys, mountain, and hills prevent people from seeing the salvation sent from God. Yes, it is also true that too many of us are hiding our light under a bush basket. That creates yet another layer to obscure the glory of God in us and the salvation of our God that is supposed to be visible to others. There is work to do and it can't be done hiding under the basket.

Valleys, mountains, and hills represent all those things in this world that prevent people from seeing the wonderful salvation God has sent in Jesus Christ. These may be other religions, the cares of the world, the need to physically survive, or oppression in its myriad of forms. Governments get in the way. Selfishly used prosperity gets in the way. Ignorance and illiteracy get in the way. Superstition gets in the way.

The list feels endless but that is not an excuse to not get to the work of filling in the valleys and leveling the mountains and hills. And there is enough work to engage the spiritual gifts of every believer in the whole of the body of Christ. In this task of clearing the way so people can see, everyone has a task.

If we have the heart of God in us, then we too feel crushed for the millions and billions who need a glimpse of the glory of God in Christ Jesus as made visible in believers' lives. We too are not willing that any should perish.

John Has Come; Now It Is Our Turn To Get To Work!

The glory of the Lord will be revealed and all people will see the salvation that has come from God. Say to the mountain, "Be removed!" and it will be removed. Grab your shovel and fill in that valley and raze those hills. And all people will see it together.


Photo Credits:
morning by alexbruda via
Hills by michaelaw via
empty highway by drow via
digging tools 1 by TACLUDA via

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