Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, …”
I love the earnest of our Lord here in this opening line of Isaiah 40, and it permeates the whole chapter in an atmosphere of compassion. Reading the double-emphasis of “comfort, comfort” takes my mind back to the Gospels where Christ often preluded His statements with the phrase, “truly, truly,” as a way to emphasize the absolute necessity of His words. It’s a bit like the difference between the way my little girl asks for a glass of milk with her breakfast—“Milk, please”—and the way she asks for a cookie when she smells them baking in the oven—“Cookie please! PLEASE!” So, when I hear God say, “Comfort, comfort my people,” I hear no ounce of stoicism in it. I hear the zeal of the Spirit who is the Comforter (John 14:26), and who yearns for us to demonstrate His character to others.
Friend, no doubt, there’s someone in your world today who needs a tender word or a gracious response or a loving note or a comforting hug. So hear the compassion in your Father’s voice and make this Isaiah 40:1-plea your commission for today.