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Journey to Bethlehem Day 9

Monday, December 7 Isaiah 40:9-11

9 Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

Isaiah 40 is written to the people of Judah for comfort. Why? Because they would soon become captives of the Babylonian empire. Here we see God’s promise of redemption for Israel from their captor and the promise that God would lead them home like a shepherd would lead his flock.

Isaiah compares the might and strength of God to his gentleness of a shepherd. God carries his tender lambs, Israel, home holding them to his bosom. Charles Spurgeon said, “To carry is kindness, but to carry in the bosom is loving-kindness. The shoulders are for power, and the back for force, but the bosom is the seat of love.”

That is both a safe place and tender place for Israel, so too for us!

During this Advent season, look toward our good shepherd coming back into the world. Jesus will come with might and strength yet care for his flock with the kind hand of a shepherd. He gathers those who follow him when they wander, gathers them up when they fall, and gathers them home to himself at last.

Isaiah 40 proclaims the “good news” of the Hebrew captives being freed from Babylon. The “Good News” for us is we who have been captive to sin are now set free. Our Good Shepherd has come! He has brought the promise of redemption and with the tenderness of a shepherd will carry us lovingly next to his heart until he returns to take his flock home.

Father God, thank you for sending your son and our good shepherd to guide, comfort and lead us through our time here on earth until we are safely and lovingly carried home to you. Amen