Isaiah 40:1 The prophet predicts gloom and doom, destruction for the nations of the fertile crescent, especially for the people of the Promised land, because of their rebellious ways. This would be carried out by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar. Now, in chapter forty, God speaks a different tune to his people. Yes, they would have to suffer for their unbelief. But also there was the proclamation of hope that follows. “Speak peace to Jerusalem, tell that her sins are covered and that her warfare is over.” So the Lord commands that the prophet comfort the people, “My people.”
Today, as in many times in history, the people of God find themselves in a decaying world that turns its back on God. Our modern day prophets proclaim gloom and doom. Yet the Word of God still comes through. “Comfort my people!” Do not scare them into acting on fear, for fear, though a great motivator, does not bring peace to the heart. Rather, tell them that their sins are covered. Tell them of the peace that awaits them.
Just as in Isaiah God encouraged the people of Israel, so in the Revelation, God encouraged the new people of God, those who were grafted into Israel from every tribe and tongue. Yes, things are going to be chaotic. The spiritual warfare will rage. Yet, the end will still bring glory, victory, and peace.
We who aspire to be spiritual leaders must always be careful not be dwell on the negative and forget the Good News. Only the Good News causes anything good to come out of this world. Only the Good News will bring any salvation from the coming destruction. The Good News, then, is where our focus must stay. For God’s people, the signs of destruction encourage us to flee to the comforting arms of our loving Father. Only the Good News tells us where to turn when times get rough. “Comfort, comfort my people!”