Speaker: Lukus Counterman - In Isaiah’s time, Israel had a long, persistent history of 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. The prophet Isaiah repeatedly warned the Israelites of God’s coming judgment. This section is addressed to those who are in exile and who later return from the exile. It is a message of comfort and consolation. As captive people in a foreign land, distress and discouragement were easy to get lost in. 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!” In whatever distress or difficult situations we might be facing, the call of the prophet rings true today just as it did long ago. We too must behold our God!