Isaiah gives us simultaneous pictures of the parallel journeys of the Israelites and us. Yes, God’s chosen people and his adopted children, separated by thousands of years. The picture pair is a reflecting pool with generations between the two images.
Here’s the setting for Isaiah: the Israelites have turned their backs on God after he delivered them from slavery, they have put their trust in Egypt for their protection, they have worshiped other gods.
God is not happy.
Here’s our setting: we chase after money, possessions, and relationships for our satisfaction and security, we focus on instant gratification rather than the long term effects of our actions, we ignore or reject salvation available only through Jesus.
God is not happy.
But… God loves his children. He paved the road back to him through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Read Isaiah 35 and see how it speaks to both the Israelites in that time and us today. Isaiah is talking about both Israel’s return from exile and the coming of Jesus (as well as the miracles he will perform) hundreds of years later. Amazing!
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.