Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 9
January 15, 2006
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.
- I. The Type of Meaning Found in Isaiah's Words (continued from our last study).
- A. The former study focused upon the thesis of "Justice Satisfied".
- 1. The "comforting" announcement is that God's justice has been satisfied.
- 2. The "comfort" is that Jerusalem will be released from the hard treatment that has been her experience.
- B. There is, in 40:6-8, a presentation of the absolute frailty of Man.
- 1. The issue in this thesis is that "man" cannot, in any ultimate sense, "do" what is necessary to fulfill the eternal Word of God which does not fail because it does not rest upon "man".
- 2. This "frailty" thesis, in the Isaiah 40 context is "all" about man's inability to make any kind of "lasting" impact.
- 3. The "link" between the "cry" of 40:1-2 and the "cry" that "all men are hopelessly frail" is twofold.
- a. Man, in his frailty, cannot abstain from the kinds of behavior that bring about judgment from God.
- b. Man, in his frailty, cannot "pay" a sufficient redemption price so as to satisfy the Justice of God.
- C. The 40:3-5 text "between" the "Justice Satisfied" thesis and the "Human Frailty" thesis.
- 1. The 40:3-5 text contains a summons and two promises.
- a. The "summons" is for the preparation of a highway for God.
- b. The promises are of...
- 1) The "correcting" of the terrain so that travel can be accomplished with ease.
- 2) The "revelation" of the glory of Yahweh so that all can see it.
- 2. The text between its "partners".
- a. The "comforting" message of Justice satisfied relates to the "summons": it is a message of hope that "summons" a response.
- b. The "uncomfortable" message of man's frailty relates to the "promises": man's frailty will not compromise the enduring commitment of Yahweh as expressed in words ("the mouth of Yahweh has spoken" -- 40:5 -- and "the word of our Elohim stands forever" -- 40:8).
- 1) The very idea of "frail" man having the ability to "build a highway" of the type called for is "hopeless", but the promise is "the problematic terrain will be addressed by the "mouth of Yahweh".
- 2) The enlightening promise is that, because Justice is satisfied, Yahweh is free to perform all of His good words to Jerusalem.
- II. Conclusions Thus Far...
- A. This "frailty" is the reason for "Promise" and it rests entirely upon "Grace" (as Romans 4:16 so clearly reveals).
- B. John, as the messenger of the dawn of Grace, is, thus, the fulfillment of the voice and sets the stage for the proper understanding of the "cry" of 40:3-5.