O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” — Isaiah 40: 9
Our Bible text is taken from a passage written to comfort God’s people in Babylon. Large segments of the population of Jerusalem and the southern kingdom of Judah had been carried off to Babylon by the Babylonians, and the temple in Jerusalem – the religious and political centre of the realm – had been destroyed. The exiles had the feeling that they had been abandoned by God. Our Bible text addresses this situation of hopelessness and despair: with words of hope and confidence it expresses that God stands by His people and that He will lead them out of captivity and back to the land of their fathers. “Behold your God! Behold the Lord God” (verses 9–10). It is with these words that the prophet extols the powerful presence of God. He calls upon the people to look up to God and trust Him completely.
Let us extol God by sharing good things with others. God came into the world in Jesus Christ so that we could share in His grace, His peace, and His love. We can extol God in the proper manner when we too appreciate that which emanates from God in His perfection and share it with others.
We extol God by:
- grasping His grace and granting the same grace to all people.
- seeking His peace in order to make peace in our surroundings.
- feeling His love at the altar of God in order to counter the lovelessness of our time.
- sharing our joy in the return of Christ with others.
- always leaving enough room for the activity of the Holy Spirit, such that we may always recognise what is good.