Isaiah 40:3-5;9-10 (New International Version, ©2010)
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
9 You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
Malachi 3:1 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.
If we were to go back in history from today the same number of years between the Prophet Isaiah's prophecies about the coming of Jesus and the actual events, you would find your self at the time of Marco Polo, as he enters into the service of Kublai Khan. In 1291, Muslim armies capture Acre, the last Christian holdings in Palestine, marking the end of successful crusades.
In 1297,Scottish rebel William Wallace leads ragtag band of Scottish clans to victory against the English at the Battle of Cambuskenneth, temporarily establishing independence of Scotland. In 1300, good King Wenceslas II ascends the throne in Poland, and in 1312,The King of France abolishes the Order of Knights Templar, accusing them of witchcraft.
And finally, 1325 marks the traditional date of the Aztecs arrival in Tenochtitlán (Mexico City). It was the Middle Ages, marked by bad popes, bad kings, the Black Death, and hordes of Mongols. No one had even thought about the Americas yet, although the Norseman explored Greenland a few hundred years before, and Christopher Columbus would land in the Caribean a couple of hundred years later.
Can you believe that its been almost 10 years since 9/11, over 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, 30 years since the US Olympic Hockey Team beat the Soviets, almost 40 years since man landed on the moon, almost 50 years since Kenedy was assassinated, almost 60 years since the Korean War, almost 70 years since Pearl Harbor and WW II, almost 80 years since the Great Depression , over 90 years since WW I, and almost 100 years since the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank.
Why the history lesson? All to show you just how long ago 700 years actually is, and that is about the same amount of time from when Isaiah penned what God had told Him about "the coming". We tend to lose perspective of Biblical timelines, because to us, time seems to be rushing by. But Isaiah saw everything so clearly; one would come to announce the coming of the Sovereign Lord and our Savior would begin to minister soon after.
And to think his coming began in a quiet stable in a small Judean town almost 2000 years ago, and each Christmas we can feel as if he has just been born. When we get to know Jesus, he becomes as real as the day he arrived, he is with us now, and he will be with all believers forever.
Luke 3:1-6 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”
Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.