“A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’”
John the Baptist was the lone voice fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah. As he wandered in the wilderness, John urged and pleaded with men and women to repent of their sin and prepare their way for the Messiah, Jesus, to come. God ordained John to help make the paths straight, and to help God’s people turn from sin into his open, forgiving arms. The task that John set out upon was in no way easy, and even resulted in John’s death by decapitation at Herod’s command.
The Scripture above defines the life and ministry of John the Baptist, the man who paved the way before Jesus began his ministry. John the Baptist’s ministry helped prepare the hearts of the people to more gladly welcome Jesus, and John was quick to proclaim that the Messiah was coming. Above, Isaiah poetically speaks of what the Lord can do in our hearts and lives. Every valley, or symbolically difficult challenge we face, will be raised up. God will use every discouraging situation, every low place in our life, for his glory. He is with us in the valleys, and will help raise us up. On the opposite end of the spectrum, God will use every mountain, or perhaps the boastful conceited nature within us, to humble us. God will humble us so as to help us keep our egos in line. Through the valleys or the mountain tops, it is God’s hope that he is given all due credit.
John’s life was full of mountain top experiences and of the valleys too. Most certainly a mountaintop and humbling experience all in one was John baptizing Jesus, the Messiah. A valley John faced was a cruel death, by decapitation. Through every experience, John was always quick to give glory to God, and to help share the Gospel so more people would come to know Jesus.
Let us be inspired by the life John the Baptist lived. Let us heed to this scripture and know that you are with us through every mountaintop, valley, and everywhere in between. Let your glory be known to us, and to those around us every day.
In Jesus’ Name,