Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
Isaiah told the people that God would bring strength to the weary, increase the power of the weak, and bring streams in the desert. Although the people returning from captivity were weary and discouraged, He promised them that He would give them strength to rebuild their land from a desert into fertile ground again.
The Jewish rabbis refer to Isaiah 40-66 as the “Book of Consolation.”
Isaiah sought to comfort the Jewish remnant in Babylon after their years of captivity and assure them that God was with them and would take them safely home. The Israelites were in captivity in Babylon for 70 years before they returned to Jerusalem. These were desert times where they were in an unfamiliar land filled with false gods. Their world was turned upside down as they sought to make a life for themselves in a foreign place. But God in His mercy enabled them to grow as a nation, and eventually He brought them out of captivity. They found that even in captivity, their God promised them streams in the desert: I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. (Isaiah 41:18)
We often find ourselves in seasons of our lives where we are physically or spiritually dry, feeling as though we are in a desert, discouraged and weary.
Today, we can be comforted during our hard times by knowing that God’s presence brings us strength and power.
Are you weary or discouraged? God may not remove you from the desert when you wish, but He will surely bring you streams of water in the desert. Jesus told the woman at the well that if she was spiritually thirsty, she needed only to drink from the living water. Jesus Christ is the only well that never runs dry; He is living water for our times in the desert.
I pray for Your Presence in the dry and thirsty places of my life. Comfort me with Your Word and bring me safely out of captivity and into newness of life in You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen