Isaiah 40:2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” If you click on the reference link above you can view this verse in many different versions. Sometimes this helps to get a better understanding of the verse.
I believe that scripture does not contradict scripture, so let’s dig a little deeper and see if we can break this down further. Psalm 23:3-4 says, “He (the Lord, our Shepherd from 23:1) restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
What a minute! How are a rod and staff comforting? Sounds like a pretty painful way to comfort.
I recommend you read the book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, by W. Phillip Keller (you can click on the title to purchase it for only $2.99). It provides practical and spiritual application of this Psalm and explains how the shepherd’s rod was used to protect the sheep.
into trouble when I compare myself to others, instead of comparing
myself with Christ. We can think we are doing just fine compared to
others, whose sin seems more blatant, but in light of He, who knew no
sin, we are all the same; sinners. “Then I (Isaiah) said, ‘Woe is me,
for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
Salvation. He provides it. Redeemer. That is who He is.
Repent and return; that is what He asks. For He longs to be gracious to you. Isaiah 59:20, “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob’, declares the LORD. And in Isaiah 44:22, “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
Hosea 2:13-15 “‘And I will punish her for the days of the Baals, when she used to offer sacrifices to them and adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry, and follow her lovers, so that she forgot me,’ declares the LORD. ‘Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth.'”