September 11, 2007

A Word of Comfort

Isaiah 40:1-2

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem ... Isaiah 40:1-2


We might think it would have been easy for God to give up on the people in Isaiah's day. Repeatedly God had sent prophets to warn the people. But they never got their act together. In fact, they found new ways to sin that finally led God to bring down the hammer of justice. God's people, who didn't seem to appreciate the land of promise, became a people exiled to Babylon.

Yet God is not like his people, who promised again and again to repent but kept returning to sin. God keeps his promises. God chooses to use his people as a light to the nations despite their flaws.

Isaiah has a message to tell. It's a message of restoration for a people who have blown it again and again. It's a call of deliverance. While Israel languishes in Babylonian exile, God whispers words of hope. "Com­fort, comfort my people," God says to Isaiah. So Isaiah speaks good news to a people who need to know that God comes with a word of forgiveness for rebellion.

God also has a message of restoration and deliverance for us. God has fully paid for our sins in Jesus Christ. All who are exiled by their sin can be led into the land of forgiveness. Believe it!

Do you need a second chance from God? He will give it. "Humble yourselves before the Lord," says James 4:10, "and he will lift you up."

<p>Lord, thank you for giving us second chances. Thank you for not giving up on us. Restore us to your service again, and guide us to be a light for you. </p><p>In our Savior's name, Amen.</p>

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!