All of us are on a quest to find and fulfill our destiny. The soul searching question on the lips of the infamous Forrest Gump has plagued every thinking human being: “What’s my destiny, Momma?”
When Forrest rescues Lt. Dan from certain death on the battlefield, Dan furiously rages, “I had a destiny. I was supposed to die in the field with honor.”
Forrest’s mom philosophizes on her deathbed about the subject of one’s destiny: “Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
I’m here today to tell you that Forrest’s mom might have plumbed the depths of the hard core realities of life but not the heights of its consummation. Life for you may not be a box of sweet chocolates. It oftentimes is a sack of bitter herbs. However, the bottom line is this: You can know what you’re gonna get!
Isaiah 40:1-5 has two voices: one human, one divine. They contrast the unpromising landscape (3b-e) with the coming glory (5ab) and call for total transformation in preparation.
1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
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 mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
What’s your destiny? Why are you here? Why did God make you? The prophet Isaiah offers this answer: To see and experience God’s glory. (vv.3-5)
To whom or what is Isaiah referring when he says “the glory of the Lord will be revealed?” The visible revelation of God himself. How can we be so sure that the glory of the Lord refers to none other than Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 40:3 claims there will be the voice of a prophet calling out in the wilderness and then the glory will be revealed. Who’s that voice? All four gospel writers emphatically declare it is John the Baptizer. If John is the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Jesus is Yahweh (the LORD). Yahweh – the covenant, personal name of the Lord. The name God used to reveal himself to Moses in the burning bush.
“God’s glory is the visible revelation of God in all His attributes. This is set forth clearly in various passages in the NT like John 1:14 — The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Hebrews 1:3 — The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
2 Cor. 4:6 — For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.)
Why we need to see His glory? Apart from the Lord shining the light of His glory into our hearts, we, like the Israelites of old, worship and serve created things and we make for ourselves what the prophet Jeremiah called “broken cisterns” that cannot truly satisfy our hearts. To liberate from this bondage, God sends a deliverer. Another OT prophet calls him “the desire of all nations.”