This is the final chapter in the "woes and blessings" chapters (ch 24-35). This chapter is a direct contrast to the previous chapter 34. From Armageddon to the contrasting Kingdom of God and the blessings enjoyed for those who chose Him and are in His family.
So Armageddon came with the judgement of God in Chapter 34. And next will come the Millennial Kingdom.
"The wilderness and the desert will be glad..." (verse 1)
The MacArthur Commentary points out that Edom was luxuriant; but in chapter 34 we see it become a wasteland. Now, in Christ's Kingdom on earth,the desert blooms and is full of joy.
That's a pretty great start.
The wilderness and the desert are places normally associate with need and maybe even fear. No water, no structure, wild animals, and danger. But not in the Kingdom of our Lord. Even the wilderness and desert are happy places.
"...and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom..." (verse 1)
The Arabah is a low place in the Negev Desert. Usually the desert denotes punishment, judgement, or neglect by the people and their leaders. But now it is blooming and overflowing with joy. The return of the lush garden.
What and image of relief and hope. Even the dry places will rejoice. It's going to be wonderful in ways we can't even imagine.
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you."Isaiah 35:3-4 NASB
I am in a season when I am exhausted and anxious. Robbed of sleep and feeling pretty feeble.
Hope is on the horizon.
So much pain and grief will be healed.
- the blind will see
- the deaf will hear
- the lame will leap
- the mute will shout with joy
- waters in the wilderness and stream in desert
- the scorched lands will have pools
- the thirsty grounds springs of water
- The plains will have high growth
We're promised a Highway of Holiness where there won't be any unclean or fools. No lions or vicious beasts.
...but the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.Isaiah 35: 9b-10 NASB
Thank you, Lord for hope and for a view to a time when we'll all exhale in relief and joy.
The future is bright and we can trust Your promises!
Wheew! We made it through the "woes and blessings" and we made it through the "Old Testament half" of Isaiah. That was pretty rough at times!
Next are four chapters related to a specific historical person and the events of his time, Hezekiah. And then, starting in chapter 40, we begin the "New Testament" portion of the book as the topics more closely mirror redemption.