February 3 – A Voice in the Desert

Read: Isaiah 40 & Mark 1:1-8

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3 ESV)

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” (Matthew 3:1-3 ESV)

An angel promised the birth of John to his elderly parents, but several hundred years earlier the prophet Isaiah wrote of John’s coming. John the Baptizer was a transitional figure in the history of God’s journey with his people. It had been over 400 years since the Old Testament prophet Micah recorded his final words. The Jews had seen a dramatic change in the political landscape of their world, having been subjugated by the Romans.

John the Baptizer began his public ministry in the midst of a time of heightened political tension, religious stagnation, and economic struggle. Both figuratively and literally John arose as a voice coming from the desert. God’s people needed a voice of courage and correction, and John was just that. He came out of obscurity to proclaim the people’s need for repentance for their sins, and they responded in thousands. John was an incredible man, Jesus even called him the greatest man to ever live, but he was just a precursor to the greatness of Jesus Christ.

There are lost people in all of our lives. There are people who desperately need, to not only hear, but be shown through intentional-loving-demonstration, the unfettered and unconditional love of God. In what ways can you be a voice in the desert? Maybe it’s by calling a friend or family member to repentance through loving correction. Maybe it’s by helping a neighbor across the street. Maybe it’s simply by being the best employee you know how to be. We all have a voice. We all have people we can reach out. Isn’t it time we let God use our voice to reach His people?

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