Where do you expect to find God? What earthly location would God visit? The prophet Isaiah gives a surprising answer to that question.
The first 39 chapters of the book of Isaiah focus on the theme of divine judgment, but chapter 40 begins with these words: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem” (vv.1-2a). Finally, judgment is over. “Cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned” (v. 2).
And then come the intriguing words of verse 3:
“A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God'” (ESV).
Of all places why is God going to travel through a lonely and desolate wilderness? Nothing is happening in the wilderness—at least nothing important. Why do we have to make a highway for God in a barren desert? There’s no civilization or excitement in the desert. Wouldn’t it be better for us to prepare a path for God in a megacity?
Listen to the crying voice once again:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
In the empty and barren places of life look for God. Better yet, get things ready for him in those places. He will come traveling through our desolate places soon and when he does things will be different.
“O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain” (Ps. 68:7-8a ESV).