Isaiah 35

He’s On His Way!

“Courage! Take heart! GOD is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!” ­– Isaiah 35:4 MSG

For 34 chapters we have read about God’s coming judgment on His rebellious people and the nations that surround them. His holiness and justice demand that He deal with sin. He cannot turn a blind eye and act as if it does not exist. He is patient, but He is not passive. He is tolerant, but He will not tolerate the sin of His people forever. And while there have been messages of hope and deliverance woven into the warnings of pending judgment, the overall message has been less than uplifting. Then we come to chapter 35. In it we find a beautiful picture of hope based on God’s future restoration of His land and of His people. God will balance His judgment with mercy. His moral perfection requires that He deal justly with sin. His love requires that He show mercy and grace to those who have sinned. And He done just that through His Son Jesus Christ. All those who accept Him as Savior will experience the blessings of God and enjoy not only a restored, renewed earth but a restored relationship with God Himself.

So Isaiah is to use this news to “strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees” (Isaiah 35:3 NLT). In the midst of all the bad news, Isaiah is to share the good news of God’s future restoration of His land and His people. Imagery of restoration and renewal is all throughout this chapter: Flowers blooming, deserts bursting with plants, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, springs gushing in the wilderness, and streams in the wastelands. Parched land will become filled with pools of water. And a road will be built that leads straight to the city of God – the new Jerusalem where Christ will reign in righteousness. That road will be called the Highway of Holiness because on it only the righteous will travel as they make their way to worship God in His restored city. This road will be for the redeemed – those who “walk in God’s ways” (Isaiah 35:8 NLT). “Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way.  They will enter Zion with a happy shout. Unending joy will crown them,  happiness and joy will overwhelm  them; grief and suffering will disappear” (Isaiah 35:10 NET).

This is a message of hope. Not just for the people in Isaiah’s day, but for all of us who worship God and place our hope in the future return of His Son. He is coming. He will one day return to set all things right. He will restore the earth to its original splendor and glory. He will reestablish Jerusalem as the city of God. He will redeem His people Israel from their captivity to sin and return them to their land. He will do away with all sin and sorrow. Righteousness will be the order of the day. Sorrow and mourning will be replaced with joy and gladness. So be strong and do not fear, for your God is coming – He is coming to save you!

Father, help me keep my eyes focused on the future. It is so easy to become fixated on the here and now and think that this is all there is. I can begin to believe the lie that I have to find all my joy and contentment in this life. But You have promised more. You have a future planned out that is so much better than anything I can find in this lifetime. Your Son is coming again. I need to live for that day and not this one. When my knees get weak and my heart grows feint, I need to set my sights on the reality of His return. He is coming! Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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