The nation of Judah was facing exile, the destruction of their land, their community, their temple, and their religion. The critical question before them was: Have we forfeited the promises God made to Abraham and David? Into that despair and doubt, Isaiah announces the end of the exile, the birth of a new kingdom and the arrival of its King.
The Announcement of a New Kingdom: Comfort (40:1-2)
- The nature of their comfort: restoration of a relationship & end of an exile.
- The basis of their comfort: their sins are forgiven.
- True comfort comes from facing your guilt and its consequences before a holy God.
The Birth of the New Kingdom: The King is Coming (40:3-5)
- Build a highway for the King by removing all obstacles.
- The highway is a metaphor for the place God will display His glory – divine intervention in history.
- Israel is to meet the King in the wilderness — where she is vulnerable.
- The Revelation of the King will be universal and certain.
The Establishment of the Kingdom (40:6-8)
- The kingdom will not be established by flesh which is weak an temporary.
- The kingdom will be established by Word and Spirit which is eternal.
Welcoming the King (40:9-11)
- The response to the King: Be a messenger of good news!
- The King is coming in power like a judge.
- The King is also coming in meekness like a shepherd to gather his own.