Today I encourage you to read Isaiah chapter 40. This is perhaps one of the most encouraging and beautiful chapters of the Bible. Did you know that these opening verses actually open Handel’s Messiah? Lovely!
Imagine Handel reading these words for the first time and beginning to hear musical ideas forming….
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
A Voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every Valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” ~ Isaiah 40: 1-5
Pick out your favorite verse from this chapter and copy it into your journal. Why do you think your verse has touched you in a special way today? What is the Spirit of God trying to tell you through this passage?
Listen now to how Handel highlights these beautiful words. The music comes to us very gently and then he rocks us like a baby through the string parts. Listen for how he creates a dissonance on the word iniquities (sin) then releases it on the word pardon. Once you hear these special touches called “word painting” you will find more. This is how Handel touches us and brings the familiar passage to life.
May God’s peace be with you on your journey today….