Summary: An exposition of Isaiah 35
The Way of Holiness
Scripture readings: Revelation 21
A few weeks ago Scott’s school had a fun fair. Apart from the fact that it rained all day, it was a good time and the school council raised lots of money. One of the games that was part of the fun fair was a game called the cake walk. The game is sort of like hot potato, instead it involves a cake and the goal is to be the one that actually ends up with the cake. To prepare for this game the school council asked that parents bake up a whole bunch of cakes. What a scene it was. In the one classroom, on the tables was 50-60 cakes of all flavors. Some were professional looking. Some were kind of funky. Some were round, others were square. Some were one layer, some two and a few were 3 layers thick.
This morning we are going to study Isaiah 35 together. If for a moment, we can compare Isaiah 35 to a cake, rest assured it is not a single layer cake. Neither is Isaiah 35 a double layer cake. Isaiah 35 is like a triple layer cake. This is so because the prophecy of Isaiah 35 relates to: a. Judah’s near future b. The first advent of Jesus. c. The second coming of Jesus.
I trust you came with an appetite to learn this morning. Let’s dig in and turn now to Isaiah 35.
Things to note before reading the text
It’s important to enter into a reading of Isaiah 35 with the images of destruction in mind. Can you do that? Can you picture in your mind a ruined, ravaged, wrecked, judged world? Can you build a scene in your head of toppled buildings, the bones of dead lying unburied, overgrown properties, stuff strewn and broken everywhere and wild animals on the prowl? This is pictured and announced in Isaiah 34. It is the backdrop to Isaiah 35. READ TEXT
1. What is the mood of Isaiah 35?
Joy, gladness, rejoicing, celebration, hope.
Do we have cause for joy and gladness? YES we do.
Why? Because God is awesome! We have an incredible Savior in Jesus Christ. God has given us some amazing promises. Forgiveness. Peace with God.
2. What does Isaiah 35 describe? An incredible reversal engineered by God!
A desert blooming. A joyful earth. Instead of fear, confidence. Instead of oppression- deliverance. Laughter instead of tears. Joy instead of sorrow. Sight instead of blindness. Hope instead of despair. The lame leaping. The mute shouting for joy. Burning sand becoming a pool of water. Safety instead of danger. No longer will Jerusalem be a place of bloodshed, violence, and unfaithfulness to God.
What Isaiah speaks of here cannot be merely limited to the days that were to follow Israel’s captivity. It is more than evident that many of these elements refer to Jesus in his first coming and second. Hence these verses of hope and promise are very much for us today. They are for us a source of great excitement and hope.
3. In evil times how are the followers of God to live? v.3-4
Do we live in evil times? Sure we do……
Please take a closer look with me at verses 3-4
a. These words first served as an encouragement to Isaiah’s hearers.
b. Through the centuries these words have been a refreshing source of hope
c. For us and particularly for those who are severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus, these are very timely words
What’s the message:
The wicked are not going to get away with their evil deeds. They will be punished. Justice will be done. God never forgets his children. God is coming to put an end to the wicked—so hold on to your faith.
What will our response be? We shall say as the saints of Revelation 16:5-6 “”You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
Jesus warned us ahead of time that the Christian life would be tough. We need to stay faithful.
4. To whom do the good and true promises of Isaiah 35 belong?
a. They belong exclusively to the redeemed!
b. They belong exclusively to those who are walking on the Way of Holiness!
Have you been redeemed? Are you one of the redeemed? Do you know what it means to be redeemed?
There is a hymn that has these words
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever I am.