Text: Isaiah 39:1-8, Isaiah 40:1-31
The comfort God provides is not an anesthetic. There’s no numbing, no loss of consciousness. He’s not a drug in your veins. He’s the Hope anchored within you.
In Isaiah 39, we are given a peek into King Hezekiah’s heart. He was a great and good king who restored right worship of the One True God. At the end of his life, however, he proved that even the godly are prone to their brand of comfort. The prophet Isaiah proclaims a dismal future for the people of God, in particular, Hezekiah’s own family. He tells the king that days are coming when all that is in his house and all he has inherited will be carried to Babylon. Isaiah tells him that even his own sons will be slaves in the palace of the king of Babylon. Instead of lamenting such news, Hezekiah soothes himself with the thought, At least there will be peace and security in my days.
The context of the first words of the next chapter stands in stark contrast to the king’s inner dialogue. While Hezekiah cared more for his ease and well-being than that of his children, God instructs His messenger to speak tender words of comfort to His children. He is a better Father than the king.
God doesn’t promise a pain-free existence. He promises to be with them.
He doesn’t minimize their sin. He acknowledges and pardons it.
Unlike Hezekiah, God Almighty—Maker of all that is, Measurer of the seas, heavens and earth, Spreader of the skies—doesn’t convalesce, He condescends. The Father sends the Son to become the comfort of His people. He is called the Good Shepherd. He tends His flock. He gathers them, carries them and leads them. He even lays down His life for them (John 10:11).
Jesus never sought His own comfort. He was the means of ours. He forsook His right to sit leisurely on His throne and embraced a shameful death on a cross so that we might share in His inheritance. What a good brother we find in Jesus! What a good Father we find in God.
Comfort, comfort, is ours to find in Jesus. He absorbed God’s wrath on our behalf. He took away our sin. He empathizes with us in our weakness because He has known what it’s like to wear our skin. He sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to dwell in us, so that we are truly never alone—so that we may never forget the Father’s great promise to comfort, comfort His children.
Lauren Chandler is a wife and mother of three. She leads worship regularly at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas where her husband, Matt Chandler, is the lead teaching pastor. Whether writing songs or stories, singing or making her home a place to linger, Lauren enjoys creating beautiful and meaningful spaces where people may encounter The Lord of steadfast love imaged perfectly through Jesus.
For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!