A few years ago, Caedmon’s Call did a powerful version of an old John Michael Talbot song called “Prepare Ye the Way” (go thee to ITunes and get it). It echoes the themes of Is 40:3-5: “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.” The symbolism is of the servants who went before monarchs in a journey to clear obstacles, level roads, and create pathways. Spiritually, as Matthew Henry says, the heralds of Is 40 are called “to dispose men’s minds for the reception and entertainment of the gospel of Christ.” Henry continues:
We must get our hearts levelled by divine grace. Those that are hindered from comfort in Christ by their dejections and despondencies are the valleys that must be exalted. Those that are hindered from comfort in Christ by a proud conceit of their own merit and worth are the mountains and hills that must be made low. Those that have entertained prejudices against the word and ways of God, that are untractable, and disposed to thwart and contradict even that which is plain and easy because it agrees not with their corrupt inclinations and secular interests, are the crooked that must be made straight and the rough places that must be made plain. Let but the gospel of Christ have a fair hearing, and it cannot fail of acceptance. This prepares the way of the Lord; and thus God will by his grace prepare his own way in all the vessels of mercy, whose hearts he opens as he did Lydia’s. When this is done the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.