“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:” Isaiah 40:4
In the beginning, God chose Israel to be His people. But Israel went after other gods, like a married woman goes after other men. In Isaiah’s story, she’s turned her back on her Deliverer yet again, choosing to accept the love of other nations.
When God talks about Israel during these times of rebellion, He refers to her like she’s a wayward wife. To a husband, there’s no greater shame, or pain, or loss, then a wife who’d rather be with someone else.
We would probably react to Israel, maybe by exacting revenge, or punishing her for hurting us.
But how does God respond?
Does He leave Israel to her consequences? Does He hold on to hatred?
Not a chance.
God basically says to Israel; “When you do end up repenting, everything that separates us will be decimated. Nothing is going to stand in the way of restoring you to Me. Nothing.”
“Valleys will be raised, Mountains will come crashing down, crooked places will be straightened, plowed over into one straight path. And Mountain ranges will be ripped apart.” (Isaiah 40:4 paraphrase).
Truth: There is no obstacle that can keep God from reaching, and delivering a repentant heart.
What He just said was… I will re-arrange the geography of the world, if that’s what it takes to demonstrate my forgiveness.
Every valley shall be exalted…
God is basically saying: “I forgive you, come back to me. You think you can’t? Well, that valley floor of despair where you’ve been trapped for years is going to be raised up until it comes level with the desert sand. The seam will close and shut you out of that dark, low place. I am putting you on level ground. You did nothing.. I did it – not because you deserve to be free, but because in my goodness, I choose to set you free.”
In the wild heights of our arrogance, we often find ourselves alone. Trapped in a mountain range of our own creating, wandering so far from God it seems like the peaks have closed us in with an impassable barrier. Well, they’re suddenly laid low, sunk until they’re flat. Even little hills will be instantly leveled, just to make sure that if you’re weak, you’re not even slightly impeded in going to Him.
And the crooked shall be made straight…
Choosing to walk on a path other than God’s, is accepting a slippery, dangerous alternative. We easily become lost, lured by the twists in the unseen road ahead. Often we reach a point where we’ve become so lost amongst the knolls of deceit, that we can’t discern the truth from deception. But He wipes the knolls out, so we can see Him again, clearly.
And rough places plain…
The root word of the word “plain” actually means: “to split, cleave, break open, divide, break through, rip up, break up, tear.”
So God will pretty much rip apart the mountains to make a way for you to return.
In Essence, God’s saying “I’m leveling all obstacles to me. Come to Me now. I still want you. It’s your choice.”
That, friend, is how incredible God is.
But all of that means nothing if we don’t believe He will actually do those things.
Let me put this in perspective for you.
Imagine that through his own stubborn choices, a man climbed down into this valley. He went down deeper and deeper, until he slipped and plummeted through the air before landing with a sickening crunch at the bottom of the dark place. He’s hurt so that he can barely move. He feebly tries to climb up the walls, but they’re too steep. He only damages his hands grabbing the sharp rock. He crawls along the marshy bottom, trying to find another way out… there is no other way out. He tries to dig, to yell; but it’s no use. He’s stuck there.
Now imagine the climber is you.
You’re lying there, possibly wounded, definitely scared, and you realize that you are totally helpless. So you ask for help.
God hears you; and He doesn’t throw you a rope and tell you to climb out; He doesn’t go down to get you and tell you to hang on…..what does God do?
He negates the need for you to do, anything; at all.
He raises the valley floor. He literally lifts the valley with you in it so that you can make it out.
So what do we do with this realization? Now that we know He is the type of God who would do all of that… how do we respond?
Go back to Him. Begin the Journey
Truth: You have to want it. You can’t have someone awesome like God forgive you like that, and then sorta shrug it off. There are two responses to Jesus when He was on earth: love and surrender, or hatred and rejection. Those are the only options, so choose wisely.
Turn your face from what you think you want, but what you know deep down will harm you. Stop arguing inside. Stop trying to convince yourself that you can have both the other lovers (whatever they are), and God.
You can’t have both.
But here’s the incredible thing about God; He’s more than enough, just by Himself.
This is our God; and He doesn’t stop there……
~ Emily Oliverio