Isaiah 40 brings words of hope amidst the Babylonian exile. God has punished Jerusalem for her rebellion, and God’s recompense has been paid. When Isaiah speaks of “A voice of one calling” to “prepare the way for the Lord” that “the glory of the Lord may be revealed,” Isaiah is seemingly that voice (see Isaiah 40:3,5). Hundreds of years later, John the Baptist claims to be the voice which Isaiah promised would will bring great hope to Jerusalem in her ongoing exile (John 1:23). In that same gospel, we are told that those that witnessed Jesus have seen “the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Isaiah’s declaration of good news to Israel in her exile is taken up by John the Baptist as even better news to a world exiled from beholding the glory of God (see Genesis 3:24).
Isaiah looks to a day when all the valleys will be elevated and the mountains made low so that people can easily approach the glory of God, even in our deserted places. John the Baptist declares the day has come because God’s glory has been revealed. Thus, every mountain has been made low and every valley raised, for through God’s Spirit we can behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). May we treasure this greatest gift of Christmas and bask in the truth that God’s glory has been revealed and His promises through Isaiah fulfilled!