Remember that the book of Isaiah is the writings of the prophet Isaiah during the last few kings of Jerusalem until after the exile. Today’s chapter is written to a people wondering if the Lord has completely abandoned them.

This chapter is all about comfort. But what comfort is there for the people? Look again at the chapter. It compares two things. It compares the glory of the Lord to the weakness of all else. The comfort of the people is to know that the Lord, who is great and glorious, is prepared to speak a “tender” word to the people. The Lord is prepared to pardon and restore.

A Voice Cries

Verses 3-5 are picked up in John 1:23. John the Baptist, announcing the coming of Jesus fulfills this prophecy.

The image is that of a person who goes out before a king to make sure that the roadway that the king enters on is perfectly paved and smooth, prepared for his coming. The Lord’s coming is more grand than that of any other king. Therefore, the one that goes before Him doesn’t just fill in potholes. He raises the valleys and levels the mountains. The hope of the people is that they will see the Lord.

Remember that the heart of the promise of the covenant of God is that they will be His people and He will be their God.

All Flesh is Grass

Verses 6-8 are such important verses for us to hear when reading the Bible. All flesh is grass, that like the beauty of the flower of the field it fades away. The things of this world are hear today and gone tomorrow.

Is there anything that is permanent? Is there anything that is lasting? Is there anything that a person can build his life upon that will endure?

“The Word of our God will stand forever.” It is the life that is built on the truth of the Word that we are reading that will last.

The Greatness of God

Verses 9-26 are the essence of the comfort. The hope of the people is founded in the strength and wisdom and glory of the Lord. I love the way that Isaiah asks the question, “Who has shown the Lord counsel?” When has the Lord ever called someone up to ask them a question? When has the Lord ever been confused or unsure? You and I often have questions or struggle to understand even the truth of the Word of God, but the Lord, Himself, is perfectly sure.

Whom did he consult and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?

The chapter ends with this beautiful promise. While we, like all flesh, are weak and quickly fading, even we, who are faint and weary, will be renewed. Those who wait for the Lord will be renewed. The hope and comfort of the people is to trust in the strength of the Lord.