Speaker: Lukus Counterman - In Isaiah's time, Israel had a long, persistent history rebellion, immorality, cruelty to the poor, and idolatry. By the time we get to Isaiah 40, Israel was about to be destroyed as a nation. Life was insecure, with major superpowers of the day fighting for control of the region. This chapter is addressed to those who are in exile and it is a message of comfort and consolation. As captive people in a foreign land, it was easy to get lost in distress and discouragement. When the people focused on the horizontal plain, doubt and fear seemed overwhelming, so the prophet looks at the people and says, \"Behold your God,\" he is coming to comfort his people. In whatever distress or difficult situations we might be facing this Advent season, the call of the prophet rings true today just as it did long ago. We too must behold our God and find comfort in his presence!