Thursday, February 21, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 35

Chapter 35 of Isaiah is a very short one, but it one full of hope instead of dire warnings. One of the reasons I decided to write about the book of Isaiah was because of the amount of prophetic writing that it has in reference to Christ's life. Because of this writing, we have a record comparing what was predicted about His life long before He came to earth. From that record we can compare it to what we know of His life and time on this earth. It is not some mere coincidence that all of this was written down. This is God's way of getting us the message about Christ's life and proving that He is indeed who He is. God challenges us to get into His Word and figure it out for ourselves, and this is part of that challenge.

4 say to those with fearful hearts,
       "Be strong, do not fear;
       your God will come,
       he will come with vengeance;
       with divine retribution
       he will come to save you."

 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
       and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
       and the mute tongue shout for joy.
       Water will gush forth in the wilderness
       and streams in the desert.

 7 The burning sand will become a pool,
       the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
       In the haunts where jackals once lay,
       grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

 8 And a highway will be there;
       it will be called the Way of Holiness.
       The unclean will not journey on it;
       it will be for those who walk in that Way;
       wicked fools will not go about on it. – Isaiah 35:4-8

This is clearly about having hope when it looks like all things are lost, and Jesus is that hope. We must remember that Jesus is fully God and fully man at the same time. Verse four talks about God coming to save us, and that is what Jesus did in His time on earth. The Way of Holiness that Isaiah refers to in verse 8 is more than a physical highway. It is a Way that is provided by Christ through His sacrifice on the cross that allows us to become righteous. When we accept that gift of righteousness we begin to walk in the Way. When that happens, it becomes more than a physical highway, it becomes a way of life that offers protection from the world.

Verses 9 and 10 continue to talk about this highway and how only the righteous will walk on it. When we think about our spiritual walk with Christ we can see how this parallels this Way of Holiness. Think about your own life before you accepted Christ and how it has differed since you have accepted His gift. If you have yet to accept Christ into your heart, how does the path of your life look? In both cases, how does the path look without Christ? These are the questions I want to close with today.

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