Isa 40:3-5 - A voice cries out: 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; and in the desert a straight highway for our God.'4. Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be lowered; the rough ground will become level, and the mountain ridges made a plain.5.Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all humanity will see it at once; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
The context of the above Scripture is God promising Israel deliverance after their captivity by the Babylonians. Israel, at this time, would have been taken as prisoners to Babylon; however, God promises a return of His people to their land of promise. This deliverance would be done by God. God would prepare and use all necessary agents required to get Israel back in her country of promise. The people of Israel were given a responsibility by God to prepare the way for the Lord who would accomplish this great work on their behalf.
Scripture has numerous examples of men who were asked by God to prepare before He would appear in His glory to them. Abraham was asked to prepare an offering for God before God would make a covenant with him concerning Canaan (Gen 15). Before Moses received his call to be Israel’s deliverer he had to take off his shoes. Moses was instructed to prepare Israel for a meeting with God - Exodus 19:10-12 - The LORD told Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes, 11 and be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.12. You are to set boundaries for the people all around: 'Be very careful that you don't go up on the mountain or touch the side of it. Anyone who touches the mountain will surely be put to death. In the New Testament the disciples had to wait in Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This waiting for the Holy Spirit was a preparatory action by the disciples to meet with God.
The phrase HANDING OVER THE BATON, to many minds, would be that of an old leader who must vacate his position and responsibility for a younger person because the belief is that the older leader has now served his generation and a younger person is to receive his position and assume the responsibility of the older leader. No doubt when one serves as a leader, a time will come when he/she will have to do a hand over to someone younger. However, leadership as a position cannot be the only consideration when referring to handing over the baton, when it comes to Kingdom matters.
When the apostle Paul speaks to Timothy about handing over the baton, he does not refer to the church which Timothy is to receive to oversee as leader. The apostle Paul had a very good understanding of who the church is and of succession of leadership in Godly matters. Paul knows that in each generation, God is the One who chooses men to lead His people and to speak on the earth on His behalf. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:12 -It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.
Today, the believer is challenged much more rigorously than in past generations, to herald (proclaim) God’s truth to a world that is becoming more and more hostile to God’s truth and for whom Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary to have this very world reconciled to the Father. The Bible has for many generations been regarded and accepted as the standard of truth and the authentic Word of God amongst Christian families and nations. The moral laws of many governments, under their judiciary system, took its cue from the Law of God.
Many Christian nations have become secular states in which there is freedom of religion. In most secular states, the Bible is being marginalised more and more by modern society. It is evident that the world is deviating further away from God’s Word which was once accepted as the ethical standard by which one should live. For example, in past generations, homosexualism, lesbianism, prostitution, same sex marriages, etc., were regarded as deviant and immoral behaviour. Not to mention abortion! These lifestyles were immoral and rejected by governments of past generations. What was once referred to as immoral, is now being defended and justified as freedom of expression-a global trend.