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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.

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ISAIAH 35: 1-10

THE LORD’S 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 God’s 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 God’s future kingdom and glory. Here we see some of the beauty of God’s 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 Lord’s 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 recompense of God will come, But He will save you."

Isaiah now spoke again to the people in his day. He encouraged the believing remnant to live according to God’s covenant stipulations. They should encourage the weary, those exhausted or depressed (lit. those with feeble hands), and the terrified (those whose knees . . . give way), and the fearful or anxious, for God in divine retribution will . . . save (deliver) them.

Confronting ruthless people and mighty nations can strike fear and inaction into even the most godly. But God’s word endued with God’s power and presence can encourage the most weary, feeble and anxious. God is greater than any one, any group, or any nation and they will not be allowed to continue their oppressive ways against God’s people with impunity. In His time He will recompense the distortion by executing vengeance upon the oppressor.

He comes! This is God’s promise to those whose heart cries out to Him. God comes to us through His Word, through acts of providence, through His Spirit and He will continue to come to our aid and deliver us until that day when we will be united with Him forever and ever. Amen!

III. THE RESTORATION OF LIFE, 5-7.

Verses 5-7 expand the promise of salvation. Two figures, the healing of the handicapped and the watering of the desert, are used to express the promise of restoration to full and abundant life. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. (6a) Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy.

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