Words of comfort and consolation for the people of GOD, for our suffering during the exile from the promised land that in the past was identified in Israel, but today it can be considered as the achievement of the era of peace, the messianic era.
Here are five of the best passages of this prophecy that reassures the hearts of believers.
“Comfort, comfort My people” says your GOD
(Isaiah 40, 1)
Isaiah foretells a salvation so great that it will eventually end all the tears of exile. From the words of the Prophet we are reassured not only that we will be comforted at the time of redemption, but that we will also understand why we have endured everything, and how it has made us greater spiritual beings.
He speaks in a consoling way in the heart of Jerusalem and proclaims that his period of exile has been completed, that his iniquity has been forgiven, since he has received twice as much for all his sins from the hand of GOD.
(Isaiah 40, 2)
This cannot mean that the people of GOD received more punishment than they deserved, because the LORD is a just Judge and Father. However, the consolation will be so great that the people will feel as if they have suffered twice as much as they actually endured. (Targum)
Prepare the way of the LORD in the desert, smooth a way for our GOD in dry places!
Every valley will be raised, every mountain and hill will be lowered; the steep places are leveled, the rough places become level.
Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed
(Isaiah 40, 3-5)
Literally this means that a clear, straight and agile path will be formed to be addressed for all the people of GOD while we will return from exile (from the condition of pain to that of peace). If in the times of the Prophet Isaiah the exile was that in the Babylonian land, today our exile is considered to have been removed from the Holy Land, or from the Faith and justice that only Love for the CREATOR can give us. We have strayed from the truth believing that the false gods could save us, but instead money, material goods and spiritual anarchy have only led us to much more stress (burdened by unsustainable land weights) and dissatisfaction with not finding a true great purpose in our lives. These burdens have suppressed the desire for greatness that Psalm 82 promises us, the one for which it is really worth living.
The Talmud (Nedarim 55a) explains that those who consider themselves high and powerful will be lowered and those who act humbly will be raised. Our persecutors who were as tall as the mountains will see their fall, while those of us who have been exiled will finally be relieved.
On a personal level, this may mean that all the people of GOD will realize that those who act haughty and powerful are not so in the eyes of the CREATOR, but rather those who walk humbly, doing their best to do His will, work for the well, peace and love, those will be truly worthy.
He is like a shepherd who grazes his flock, which gathers the lambs in his arms, which carries them in his bosom, which guides the suckling sheep.
(Isaiah 40, 11)
As a shepherd tends to the particular needs of each individual animal, GOD cares lovingly for each of the believers, this is the promise. No one is given a burden beyond their means, and when someone walks away, the LORD lovingly brings him back.
Raise your eyes up and look, who created these things. He produces their legions by number, calls each by name; from the abundance [for the greatness] of His power and from the vigor of His strength, nobody is missing.
(Isaiah 40, 26)
When we look up, we see the wonderful celestial bodies that GOD has created. However, despite the immense vastness of our universe, GOD “calls each by name”, assigning a specific purpose to each created being.
If the CREATOR looks with affection at every inanimate body, how much more is his love for each of his children, ensuring that everyone realizes their purpose, and that none of the believers will ever be a loser or defeated.