Prepare the way for the Lord
For 400 years God had been silent. No prophet had brought a message from God in that time. Anticipation and desire for a word from the Lord were high. Life was hard. People had to struggle all the days of their lives living in poverty, serving a cruel taskmaster who didn’t care about their everyday needs.
During this 400 year period the Jewish people had divided into camps. There were the religious fundamentalists who believed that their way was the only way. They preached a religion of intolerance and legalism. Anyone who did not do it their way was wrong and destined for hell’s fire. Then there were the spiritually hungry who desired to please God, but did not know how. And lastly there were those who did not care for God, and who lived only for life here and now.