Isaiah 40: 3- 5. ” 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 plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. ”
So much of this wonderful book of Isaiah has been set to music. This is one of my favorite passages from The Messiah. So–what does it all mean?
This passage, except the last part of v. 5, is quoted in Luke 3:4-6 as being fulfilled with John the Baptist and the first advent of the Messiah. The statements about preparing the way of the Lord are used here figuratively, heralding the coming of the Messiah. It was the custom in the East to send a party of men before a king or prince to prepare the way before him. They cleared the way of thorns, brambles, and bushes, made bridges, found fording places in the streams, and leveled the ground whenever necessary to make it normal for travel. To this the prophet alluded when he spoke of making a way for the Lord (v. 3-6). This was never done literally for Christ, but the custom could be applied figuratively of the preparation of the people to receive Him. If it is ever to be fulfilled literally this will be in the Millennium when a literal highway will be made from Egypt to Assyria, through Palestine, as predicted in 11:16; 19:23-25; 35:8-10.