“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for…” (Is. 40:1-2).
Between chapter 39 and chapter 40 of Isaiah, we see a transition. Chapters 1-39 have been a warning to God’s people that they needed to change their ways, or they would be deported into exile. Do you know the ending? Well, they did not change their ways. Yes, they went into exile.
God gave them generations to repent and they did not heed his warning. Their sinful disobedience is aggravating! You would expect that God’s reaction would be a frustrated “I told you so!” It is certainly deserved.
However, where punishment is expected, comfort is offered. Where harsh words are deserved, tenderness is instead the response. Where judgement is warranted, forgiveness is extended.
It’s astonishing. And it’s enough to make you really start to believe that God loves them –and loves us, too– in spite of our disobedience.
No matter what you’ve done and no matter if you’ve listened before, the invitation rings out once more. Comfort, tenderness, and forgiveness are offered. Accept and receive them today!
*This mini-devotional was written for the app of Mesoamerica Region Nazarene Youth International (NYI). We encourage you to download and use that app, through which short devotional thoughts like this (written by a variety of leaders) will be shared daily.