Scripture: from verses 4 and 5
Let the uneven places be made level
and the crags become a plain.
Then the glory of Adonai will be revealed…
Observation: I’d often rather assumed that this passage was talking about the work that has to be done to prepare people for the glory of the Lord – how we need to be disciplined and perfected and polished and so on.
The problem with that theory is that this instruction is given after God says to comfort His people, because their sins are washed clean. So this is a time of preparation that comes after all the hard heart-changing stuff and before the glory of the Lord arrives. I’m not even sure who is meant to do the work here. It might be directed at the people of Israel, but it might be a proclamation to the Holy Spirit and the armies of the Lord.
In any case, this seems to be a time of work without pain. A time to collaborate and come together to accomplish something because it is fun, not because it is the penalty for getting it wrong. This is a time of working towards a goal that isn’t in sight yet, but will come and delight everyone.
It doesn’t happen right away. There’s a space where nothing seems to be happening, except perhaps easier travel. Just like there’s times when nothing seems to be happening in our lives, except for our children getting older and the pile of half-attempted ideas getting bigger. But we keep going, because the glory will come.
Application: Keep going in those empty times. There’s rumblings in the deep.
Prayer: Father, thank you for letting us help build your kingdom and accomplish your work. Help me to stay focused and trusting during these times of collaboration with you. Amen.