“And the LORD responded to the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words.”
You have heard it said that it is not so much what you say as how you say it. That is true. I have experienced that many times in ministry. Comforting words are not hard. They can do so much for the person listening. When people are hurting or worried, words of comfort can soothe the wounds. Comforting words are also deliberate and thoughtful. As we look at today’s verse, think about that.
I love this verse. Just look at the words again. The Lord spoke gracious and comforting words to the angel who was asking Him the question we saw in verse 12. The word used for “gracious” is towb, which is the basic word for good, kindly, joyful or beautiful. It is used over 560 times in the Old Testament. In contrast is the word for “comfort,” which is only used 3 times (here, Isaiah 57:18, Hosea 1:8). It means comfort, compassion or repenting. The Lord is showing His comfort and compassion as He speaks.
Oh, listen to this verse today. The Lord is the same Lord who spoke those words. Psalm 103:8 says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love.” Do you believe that? Have you experienced His comfort and grace? Boy, I have time and time again.
I also love Lamentations 3:22-23. “22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” How comforting is that? That’s our Lord. That’s our God. He hasn’t changed. And now we have that same responsibility – to share comfort.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 some of the most comforting words. “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” Will you be the source of comfort for others?
Thank You, Father, for Your comforting words. Give me those same words as I comfort others.