Monday, August 4, 2008

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

I’m continually looking for new ways to understand phrases in the scriptures and one that has always eluded me was “prepare ye the way of the Lord”. My question has always been, “The Lord is pretty powerful; why does He need us to prepare the way?” The main thing I always thought of was of John the Baptist preparing the way for Christ.

Thanks to Desert Highway Ministries, I found a fascinating insight here.

So the general gist that I get is that there are obstacles between us and the Lord that keep Him from coming closer to us. Those obstacles are our sins, and in spite of all He wants to do for us, He can’t get closer until those obstacles are removed through our repentance. How hard are we making it for God to get to us? What obstacles are you putting in His path? (I’ve made a mental list of the obstacles I have to get rid of.)
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low;
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough places plain:
(Isaiah 40:3-4)
In verse four, we are given a list of various obstacles that need removal.

“Every valley shall be exalted” – Certainly valleys could symbolize depression. Sometimes I get into a blue funk just because I can. Fortunately, I know how to get out. (see the chapter of my book on obtaining joy here) For others with depression from chemical imbalances, it may require professional intervention and medication. Escaping depression allows us to experience the joy that the Lord wants for us.

“every mountain and hill shall be made low” – I feel that this is talking about how we need to remove pride from our lives. I have troubles with pride often and I’ve found counting my blessings and remembering how the Lord has blessed me humbles me. Removing pride prepares us to receive the greater truths that He wants to teach us.

“and the crooked shall be made straight” – I feel that this is talking about how crime is an obstacle that we need to remove. Dishonesty of any kind, crooked dealings certainly estrange us from God. Removing crookedness gives us confidence.

“and the rough places plain” – I think this could be talking about maybe two different things. It could be referring to the abrasive parts of our personalities and how we need to put some polish on our social skills and learn how to smooth things over. It could also talk about teaching styles and changing from an attitude of trying to make it hard for people to learn something (like weed-out classes) to trying make ideas as clear as possible. I think this prepares us with charity.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together:
for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 40:5)
Here is the promise we are given about what will happen when we have removed those obstacles between us and God. His glory will be revealed to us. I take that to mean both spiritual and literal. Spiritually, we will understand better what the Lord is like, because we will have made ourselves more like Him. And literally, as we remove the obstacles, sooner or later He will visit us and we will see Him face to face.


Kathryn Skaggs said...

Truly PRIDE is the great stumbling block -- that we ourselves place before the Lord, versus the humble and contrite heart that HE requires of us - as an offering - so that HE may Come Unto Us.

I love your insights in this post.