Isaiah 40:1, 2
Comfort you, comfort you my people, said your God.
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem. Here, after prophetic revelation of danger and warning against the Nemesis of sin, we come upon the evangel of love. For God delights not in denunciation or death. All his universe testifies that he loves life, that he "has no pleasure in the death of the wicked."
I. HERE IS REITERATION. "Comfort ye, comfort ye." It is an inspiration of earnestness in conveying the heavenly message. For God is the God of comfort. Not comfort in sin, but comfort to all who seek to be delivered from it. This is like the "Verily, verily." It gives emphasis to hope. For love deals not in cold aphorisms, but repeats itself, that the heart may be sure of the message. To convince of sin is not enough. To expose evil may be the work of the moral dramatist. To scorn it may be the work of the satirist. But God is more than a Judge; he is a Saviour. The Son of man came (as his great work), "not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."
II. HERE IS REST. "Her warfare is accomplished." The weapons to be put into the hands of the faithful suffice to secure victory, and therefore the warfare is spoken of as accomplished. Looking forward to the Redeemer's days, Isaiah reminds us that his sacrifice is to be complete, as we read in Hebrews, "Once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Thus Christ spake of his own death, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." This is the spirit of the New Testament. "Iniquity is pardoned." All who believe have full and free remission of sins. And the warfare within them must end in holy conquest - every rebel flag on every province of the nature will be hauled down, and every worldly enemy will be laid low. "This is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith."
III. HERE IS DEPENDENCE. We receive double from "the Lord's hand." This is the theme of all the true Churches of Christ. Whether we express our gratitude for redemption in the words of Lyte or Watts, Keble or Doddridge, Faber or Wesley, it is still the same, and antedates the great Church worship of heaven: "Unto him that loved us, and washed us kern our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God,... be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.