Today we remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He assumed his predestined place on the front-line of the Civil Rights Movement with passion, dignity and hope. It was a divine appointment that rocked a nation.
Dr. King was a great orator. Of all his speeches, “I Have a Dream” continues to resonate throughout time with fervency.
We know Dr. King was a preacher. As such, he infused his speeches with Scripture; unashamed to make mention of the Lord — our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the essence of hope. He is the epitome of the dream.
In his speech, Dr. King quoted Isaiah 40:4-5
4 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: 5 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.
Isaiah 40:3 states, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
Matthew 3:3 says, “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
John the Baptist indeed was the voice of one crying in the wilderness who prepared the way of the Lord, as prophesied in Isaiah. Surely Dr. King was familiar with this, and for whatever reason, saw fit to place a portion of Isaiah 40 in his speech. Perhaps he, too, could be likened to one crying in the wilderness; only this wilderness was a nation shackled by racism and marred by the stain of slavery.
King’s dream is a marvelous and beautiful dream. Yet, it is a dream of equity and justice that man cannot deliver. Only when the Prince of Peace returns will Dr. King’s dream truly ring true. Only then will we see the fullness of the glory of the Lord revealed.
Only God can exalt valleys, bring mountains and hills low, make the crooked straight, and the rough places plain. Not only is earth subject to the Creator and Almighty God, so are the hearts of men, women and children. God can humble or exalt us in due season. He can make our crooked paths straight, and lead us down the Highway of Holiness.
Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
I’m reminded of a Revelation 7:9, which says:
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”
Did you get that? Of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues… In Christ, no one’s nationality, kindred, race or language has preeminence over another’s. In Christ alone are we able to become one, and walk righteously before God and one another.
I thank God for the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I thank God for the dream and for the glory of the Lord that shall be revealed.