v3 “Listen, I hear the voice of someone shouting: “Make a highway for the Lord through the wilderness. Make a straight, smooth road through the desert for our God.”
I was reading Isaiah 40 again this morning about the highway of the Lord. When I was in Egypt some years ago I spent some time in the Sahara. Not deep in the desert but just enough that I lost sight of civilisation and the huge pyramids at Giza. It was not a place I wanted to stay in for long…
You see, God never intended us to live in deserts or the wilderness. It was not God’s intention for the Israelites to wander round and round – it was the Israelites choice and the consequence of their unbelief. We’re supposed to travel through the wilderness and come out on the other side.
Firstly we’re to emerge from the wilderness as Jesus did – in the power of the Holy Spirit, stronger in the things of God, having grown closer as he carried us through to where we needed to get to.
Secondly, we’re called to enter the promised Land, not skirt around it’s borders, not toy with the idea of it but enter it, take possession of it, live off it, benefit from it, populate and rule it.
We’re not desert dwellers – we’re promised land people.
We’re not wilderness wanderers – we’re city of God citizens!
So the straight path needs to be like the first two pictures– straight as an arrow so we come straight through without detour or tangent. It’s not to be dusty, not covered up by rubble (like the third picture below) but it must be clear that all may find it and follow us on our pilgrimage.
And here is my thought for the day. Do people see your straight path? Do they see your testimony of coming through the tough times and coming into the great plans that our God has for you? Is your testimony straight as an arrow? Do people know that if they follow you and what you say about Jesus, that they will find the only way, a narrow path, out from their situation and into a relationship with Christ?
Is your confession clear? Is it without dust and rubble? Are people able to pick you out as consistent in what you say or do they try to follow you but stumble over things that you haven’t swept from your life or lose sight of you because you’ve become dusty when God has made you spotless?
Let us be a people who not only come through the wilderness and into the promised land but a people who live such lives that many will follow and find their way quickly and without hindrance.
One final thought: in the Hebrew ‘highway‘ can be read as staircase – a staircase through the wilderness. From that perspective, as soon as we turn towards God, we’re not even supposed to touch the desert sands but to continually rise in our relationship with Jesus. Live such a life.