Sunday, December 11, 2016

Isaiah 35:1-10

1 The once barren desert land will be transformed into partyland; the wilderness will sing and dance with joy. The whole place will be verdant and as colorful as blooming crocus. 2 The desert will burst into bloom -- and joyous song.

The glory of Lebanon and the splendor of both Carmel and Sharon will all be packed into one place. The desert land will host an incredible display of the Lord’s glory -- the splendor of our God.

3 So strengthen those with weary and weak hands. Steady those with rubbery knees. There is reason to go on.

4 Say to those who inclined to panic: “Stop fretting! You’ll survive! Be strong! Fear not! Your God is on his way to make things right. And it won’t be a pretty sight for those who are giving you grief. God is coming to save the day. He will be your avenging Savior.”

5 Then the blind eyes will see, and the deaf ears will hear. 6 And if that were not enough drama, the lame will be leaping about like deer, and the speechless will be singing (Handel’s Messiah. Obviously Part 1, Scene 5, Novello 19, which quotes Isaiah 35:5-6)

Water will bubble up in the desert, and there will be life-giving streams in the wilderness. 7 The scorching sand will become an oasis pool, and the hardened ground will become a fountain. The jackals’ savannah will be swallowed by wetland reeds and rushes.

8 There will even be a highway out there. It will be called Holy Road because it will be wholly dedicated to God. It will be for the exclusive use of his people and they will be the only ones out there walking on it.

This road will be so safe that even the directionally challenged won’t get lost on it. 9 And the road will be a predator-free zone -- no lions or other dangerous animals will be there. Yep, Holy Road will be a smooth and safe traveling experience reserved for those whom the Lord has redeemed.

10 And the ransomed ones will travel it as they return to Zion -- singing along the way with everlasting joy as their head coverings. Happiness and joy will overtake them along the way. And all the misery and suffering will flee back to where they came from.