THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
Part LIII: God's Encouragement For Confident Endurance In View Of Future Kingdom Blessings
A. After the Great Tribulation period that is predicted in Isaiah 34, the Messianic Kingdom that follows it is foretold in Isaiah 35:1-10 in striking contrast to the preceding time of trouble.
B. Besides describing this Kingdom, God also gives a call for the faithful to be encouraged in focusing on this description that they might confidently endure in trusting His promises of deliverance in their current trials:
II. God's Encouragement For Confident Endurance In View Of Future Kingdom Blessings, Isaiah 35:1-10.
A. Isaiah 35:1 claims that the Messianic Kingdom will see the desert and wasteland rejoice in the sense that it will blossom as a rose, a sharp contrast to the Isaiah 34 description of the land of Edom that is made into a desolate wilderness in divine judgment, Isaiah 35:1; Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. I, p. 445.
1. Isaiah uses the jussive form of the verb in Isaiah 35:1b that is translated as "let them rejoice" to indicate his personal hearty approval of the event of the blossoming of the wilderness, Ibid., p. 446, ftn. 2.
2. Also, the word habasalet for "rose" may mean "crocus;" it occurs in the O. T. only here and the Song of Solomon 2:1 of a luxurious flower (Ibid., fn. 3; Kittel, Bib. Heb., p. 655), so the desert will be gorgeous!
B. Isaiah 35:2 begins with an infinitive absolute followed by the finite verb, paroha teprah, "to blossom it will blossom," meaning, "it will surely blossom," followed again by the jussive, "and let it rejoice" to show once again Isaiah's hearty approval of the event (Ibid., Kittel; Ibid., Young, p. 446-447), and he adds, "yea, with joy and shouting," with the glory of Lebanon, the splendor of Carmel and the Plain of Sharon, places of typical luxurious plant life, and people in the Kingdom will see the glory and splendor that God produces in blessing.
C. In view of this great transformation in the land, God called believers in Isaiah's era to strengthen their sinking hands and tottering knees caused by fear over the threat of an invading Assyrian foe, Isaiah 35:3; Ibid., p. 448. Such fear came from unbelief in God's promises of deliverance (Ibid.), so it was to be overcome by faith.
D. The cause of such fear arose from those who were hasty in heart, impatiently thinking God was too slow to act to deliver when they should have been waiting fearlessly in trust that God would come in time with vengeance to deliver them from their unjust Assyrian foes, Isaiah 35:4; Ibid., p. 449.
E. In the deliverance of the future Kingdom, God's blessings will extend beyond the flowering of the landscape to addressing afflicted parts of the human body: opposite the weak hands and knees of Isaiah 35:3, Isaiah 35:5-6 predicted God's miraculous healing of the blind, the deaf, the lame and the dumb in union with the blossoming of the landscape, Ibid., p. 450-451. [Note how Jesus referred to these verses in signaling to John the Baptist's followers the credibility of His Messianic credentials that were evident in His earthly ministry, Matt. 11:2-6.]
F. Again, in contrast to the Edomite wilderness in Isaiah 34, the parched ground in the Kingdom is predicted to become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water; where jackals make their lair, there will be grass, reeds and rushes with a lot of water, Isa. 35:7 ESV; Ibid., p. 452; A. R. Hurst, O. T. Trans. Prblms., 1960, p. 146.
G. In Isaiah 35:8, the word "there" is emphasized, noting that in a place of former desolation where usually there would be no roadway, a highway will exist called the Way of Holiness, Isaiah 35:8a; Ibid., p. 453. The unclean will not go upon it, and "neither travellers (sic) or fools shall err therein," Isaiah 35:8b; Ibid. (Hurst) It will be a highway of people separated from sin, a way absent the unseparated, and thus the Way of Holiness.
H. No harmful or dangerous animal will go on that roadway, but only the redeemed of the Lord, Isaiah 35:9.
I. Then, those who will have been redeemed by the Lord will return to Zion on this highway, Isaiah 35:10. In contrast to the captivities of Israel and Judah to foreign lands in divine discipline, God will have redeemed them so that they can return as His saved people who have a new heart in Israel's final regathering, Isaiah 11:11-12. Israel's past sinful defeat and punishment at the hands of her foes will be swallowed up in blessing.
Lesson: The Messianic Kingdom will be marked by dramatically lush and beautiful vegetation worldwide, health, peace, truth, clarity of thought and lasting joy with sorrow and sighing fleeing away. In view of these great blessings to come, God urged Judah's people to trust in His deliverance amid trials of faith they currently faced.
Application: (1) May we like Judah's godly in Isaiah's day stay focused on the great blessings of the Messianic Kingdom that we not lose heart amid life's current trials, but faithfully trust God's promises and wait for Him to deliver us. (2) May we CONFIDENTLY ENDURE versus soon turning to unbelief in trials, Hebrews 10:35-37.