We start this week by studying Isaiah 35
Climate change is not the greatest threat to this world. The greatest threat is not the activity of man, but rather it is the wrath of G-d. In the last days G-d (the G-d of salvation) is going to bring great destruction to this world. The Earth will survive, but things are going to happen in the heavens that are going to impact life upon earth. Many, many people are going to lose their lives. This will be a true crisis, stemming from two things: man’s sin and G-d’s wrath. However, this crisis will lead to a wonderful outcome – the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d on Earth. This earth is going to be transformed. Creation is going to reflect the glory of G-d. G-d is faithful and what He has promised will take place!
v1: The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad: These places that were oppressed are going to undergo a wonderful change. This change will find its expression in joy, happiness and gladness. There will be no concern about the past, but everyone will be looking toward the future.
- The desert: A dry, arid and empty stretch of land
- Rose: (could also be translated ‘lily’). Flowers that have a natural glory (glory that only G-d can provide) are going to grow here.
v2: Blossom abundantly: The word for blossoming is repeated twice in Hebrew– therefore speaking of an abundance of blossoming.
- Glory of Lebanon: Everyone knew that Lebanon was a good and fertile land.
- Carmel and Sharon: In Isaiah’s days these were beautiful and fruitful parts of the country of Israel.
- They shall see the glory of the L-rd: This change is taking place because the presence of G-d is coming into this land. The return of G-d’s Presence relates to His redemption.
v3: Strengthen the weak hands: This transition is not going to be easy.
- Weak…feeble: Two different words that relate to a lack of strength.
- Strengthen… make firm: Two different words relating to strength.
v4: Fearful hearted (literally: Fast-hearted): Those whose hearts are pounding (palpitating) from stress and anxiety.
- Recompense: Payment, retribution, punishment. G-d pays them out with His vengeance. This is the wage He gives them for their sin and rebellion.
- He will come and save you: G-d saves those who are in a covenant relationship with Him through His Son. G-d’s covenant people are going to win, we are going to experience victory – triumph over the enemy.
v5: The eyes of the blind … the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped: These are Messianic signs (John 9, Mark 7:31-37)
v6: Lame (Paralyzed): Mark 2:3-12
- Burst forth: A word for splitting. The desert is going to be split and water is going to be found in it.
- Streams in the desert: Rivers are going to flow in the desert. There is going to be water in places where there was once no water.
v7: Parched ground: A dry, arid and desolate place.
- Springs: Water that bubbles up out of the land.
- Reeds and rushes: This type of grass requires much moisture. G-d is promising that there will be no shortage of water. In Revelation, G-d brings destruction upon the lakes, rivers springs, seas and oceans (Rev 8:8-11). People are going to die because the water becomes so bitter. In an instant G-d can change this bitter water back into fresh water (Ex 15:22-27). This is what He is promising to do.
v8: Highway: Like a runway – it is a pathway that has a very specific purpose or designation.
- The (high)way of holiness: This describes the way of faith. This is the way that believers are called to walk – on a pathway of holiness (set apart for G-d and His purposes). There is no sinful activity on this path.
v9: There: On that road that we are called to travel.
v10: Ransomed: A different word to ‘redeemed’ but the same concept. The redeemed ones are those who have been paid for, bought, by the L-rd.
- Zion: A word that should always call to our minds the Kingdom of G-d.
- Singing: Shouts.
- Everlasting (eternal) joy: One of the greatest powers that G-d has entrusted to humanity is the power to choose. When we choose redemption (the blood of Messiah) we are going to experience eternal gladness. Choosing unwisely leads to eternal torture and condemnation.
- Sorrow and sighing: Those things which bring physical and emotional exhaustion.