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THE LORDíS TIME OF BLESSING

(90)

Sermon shared by Dennis Davidson

September 2012
Summary: God asks us to keep the long run in view when we consider what is occuring in our life. He works things out in His way on His time schedules. But God will bless His people with peace, productivity, & provision.
Series: Isaiah
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
ISAIAH 35: 1-10
THE LORDíS TIME OF BLESSING

Here is revealed the desired kingdom for which the nation has longed since God first promised it to Abraham. This is the state that mankind constantly longs for-a utopia in which peace and productivity prevail. This condition will not come, however, till after Godís judgment on the world (ch. 34).
The world rejects God and His way, thus they head toward judgment. They choose their own ways and misuse His gift of life. But those who choose to trust in God and follow Him, put their life in His hands. A continued trusting in God brings glimpses of relief and restoration in present life and the hope of sharing in Godís future kingdom and glory. Here we see some of the beauty of Godís earthly reign.
God asks us to keep the long view about life in mind because He works things out in His way on His time schedules. God will establish His glorious kingdom and defeat all evil for His people. This will be a time of God blessed peace, productivity, and plenty.

I. THE REJOICING OF NATURE, 1-2.
II. THE RECOMPENSE OF THE REMNANT, 3-4.
III. THE RESTORATION OF LIFE, 5-7.
IV. THE RANSOMED RETURN, 8-10.

The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus (2) it will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shouting of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, The majesty of our God.

With shocking suddenness the picture changes. In chapter 34 the nations (symbolized by Edom) became a gloomy wilderness, a dry desert, full of predators. Suddenly the wilderness becomes a place of gladness and the desert a place rejoicing. The parched land will blossom with beautiful natural and rich agricultural productivity (32:15). The dry areas of the nation will become fertile (figuratively expressed as being glad) and will blossom.
What has happened? The answer is God has come near (vv. 2 & 4). We humans think we can produce joy and rejoicing on our own. We never can. Joy is the by-product of the presence of God in life. When we, through our lack of trust, push Him away, the end result is dryness and lifelessness. It is only when we turn to Him, recognizing the insufficiency of all other help, that we perceive His coming to us and find the joy and healing of His transforming grace. (Oswalt, Isaiah, p. 622).
To demonstrate this time of transformation apparently God will bring about climatic changes that will result in more rain in the promised land. Small flowers burst forth to turn the desert into a place of beauty. Lebanon . . . Carmel, and Sharon, which were becoming barren (33:9), will once again become fruitful areas of agriculture. People in those areas will see the Lordís glory, that is, they will see the fruitfulness that comes because of righteousness (33:17). They (emphatic), who have repeatedly asked for God to reveal Himself, will see the glory of Him who will make the land and nature rejoice and shout for joy. He who can do such things in nature can also do such things within the human heart.

II. THE RECOMPENSE OF THE REMNANT, 3-4.

Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. (4) Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with a vengeance. The
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