Now Playing: What are we getting ready for?
In every season of the year, and in many seasons of our life, we have to make detailed preparations. It may involve buying gloves, a scarf, or a snow shovel; or it may involve researching careers, house-hunting, or planning for retirement. In each situation we have an objective, and there are a variety of small tasks which can make the change, adjustment, or transition possible.
When the Lord Jesus left this earth, he made all necessary preparations. "(v.1) Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. (v.2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (v.3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3) So what has He prepared? "But as it is written, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him'" (1 Cor. 2:9).
Many in the Old Testament were challenged as to their readiness. When Jonah was thrown into the sea, "The LORD prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah" (Jonah 1:17). After he had preached and Nineveh had repented, the Lord "prepared a gourd" (Jonah 4:6), and then the very next day, He "prepared a worm" (v.7) Each preparation was of God was his good. Also, the prophet Amos warned, "Thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel" (Amos 4:12). The prophet Isaiah could warn, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, 'Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.' 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 plan: and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed" (Isaiah 40:3-5).
Samuel warned the people of Israel, "If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you..." (1 Samuel 7:3). We can be grateful that the Lord takes care of His own. "(v.33) He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; (v.34) A fruitful land into barrenness, and for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. (v.35) He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. (v.36) And there He maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitations;" (Psalm 107:33-36).
The Psalmist has written, "(v.4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou are with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. (v.5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:4-5).
The father of John the Baptist, Zecharias, could say "That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. And thou, child shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the LORD to prepare His ways;" (Luke 1:74-76).
As believers, we are to have our "feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." (Ephesians 6:15). "He shall abide before God for ever; O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve Him." (Psalm 61:7) May we daily prepare our ways before the Lord!