Isaiah 62: 10-12
10 Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations.
11 The LORD has made proclamation
to the ends of the earth:
“Say to the Daughter of Zion,
‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.’ ”
12 They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the LORD;
and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted.
On day 3, when we made a proclamation of our promises and wrote them in a scroll, it was also inspired by a passage from Isaiah. If you didn’t get a chance to do that on day 3, you might go ahead and make your proclamation scrolls today.
Isaiah was one of the greatest of the Prophets, and his writings are filled with pictures of the Messiah and many of the promises for God’s people. This week belongs to a study of the prophets and the theme of peace, two of the most important (Elijah and Isaiah) have messages calling us to prepare.
Seeds Provide Parable Parallels
Most people can visualize the picture of the earth being prepared for seeds. Even if you don’t garden or farm, eventually it becomes clear that food is connected with plants, their seeds, and the earth they grow in.
This is the picture most used in the bible for illustrating how to prepare your heart before God. It isn’t doing the work of building a house, or creating a fine piece of art, but of simply opening up the ground – like the hearts need to be opened to receive the promises of God. Like the ground we sometimes have things in our hearts which need to be removed to allow for the seeds to grow properly.
Life as a Road
The other picture is that of a roadway being made. If you have ever walked for a length of time you know how easy it is to overlook uneven areas of stones or tree roots, and how stumbling creates a risk of injury. You could not go far after that!
So the prophet speaks of making a highway, raised above muddy patches, cleared of stumbling stones, to create an efficient causeway. For speed and safety of travel, this maintenance makes all the difference.
The banner,Â or signpost,Â marks out the place of that highway. It can be seen from a long distance. It is symbolic of a rendezvous point .
God’s promises are like that for us: they are a signal of safety and speeding on to your reward, a place to rendezvous with Him. In many cultures a parting blessing is “Go with God!”
The ornament for today is either a plow or a banner. You can make your own ornament flags, or banners very easily from colorful paper and short lengths of dowels.
Carol: Good Christian Men Rejoice