Happenings 7 March 2024

Home / Blog / Happenings 7 March 2024

Happenings 12 November 23

Stiles and Swindoll write:

All four Gospels indicate John the Baptist specifically fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy of a voice crying in the wilderness that prepared the way for the Messiah (see Isa. 40:3). The wilderness of Judea today sits virtually unchanged since the time of John. Deep valleys, high hills and rough, rocky paths set apart this barren wasteland where John preached the words, “Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight” (Luke 3:4). In ancient times, when a king would visit a foreign land, he would send workers ahead to smooth a road so that the he could come unhindered. In preparing the pathway for the King of kings, John pointed to the rough land around him and compared it to the hard hearts he saw.

John used the physical geography in his message to communicate the need for spiritual change: “Every ravine will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low; the crooked will become straight, and the rough roads smooth” (Luke 3:5). The simple command that characterized John’s message, “repent,” literally means a change of mind that should produce a change of action.

What geographic illustration would John use to describe our hearts today? Do we seem like rocky crags or soft pathways? Do we demonstrate a barren wilderness or a peaceful pool? What in our lives would Christ have to walk around if He came to us right now?

How many hurdles I see between us, Lord. My weak ravines need filling; my proud peaks need leveling. So many rocks need to be removed to make my repentance real. Help me make these rough places a smooth path on which You can walk unhindered. O what a gracious Lord You are to make it Your goal to soften a hard heart like mine!

Would not your behaviour be very different from what is now is, if you every day lived and acted without any dependence on seeing one day more? —Jonathan Edwards

(Wayne Stiles and Charles Swindoll, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey through the Lands of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2011), 92.)

In Him,