December 10, 2012
Isaiah 35: 1-10
Psalm 85: 9ab,10, 11-12, 13-14
The Joy of the Redeemed
Advent we know is the second coming of Jesus. Jesus was born to us to be the savior of our world and He shall come for us who believe in Him as the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He will take us into eternal glory with Him where there is everlasting peace and happiness.
Reflection on the reading can be split into three sections. 1. God’s word of hope to His people; 2. How He will fulfill His promise; and 3. What the end shall be when times has been fulfilled. The setting of the first verses is wilderness and desert: a place where there is total famine, a place where everything looks so dry and fruitless. Comparing this to our lives, it could be a season where we feel alone or rejected, a time of fruitlessness and unproductivity. God is saying that we will be fruitful and flourish immeasurably and be glad. The strength of God which is likened unto Lebanon (a city of great strength) and wealth associated with Carmel and Sharon (wealth in corn and cattle) shall be our portion. This reminds us that we shall lack nothing good. And then the glory of God shall be seen by all. God gains glory when His children are living well and are happy. In our successes we are able to confidently declare Him to others and in this He is glorified. We can also relate this to Moses’ words to God in Exodus 33:15. The blessings of God reflect His presence with us; therefore, when people see the blessings they can tell the hand of God is on us; hence, glory is given to God. So with this message of hope, we are charged to tell those who have lost hope and given up on life. In my own life, I have had moments when I have felt that God was far from me. God has not finished with us yet; He will come through for us and save us from the enemy. He will bring judgment on the enemy and restore us.
Our spiritual eyes are going to be opened to see things we could not see before: the things God has prepared for us to have. We will see God as He is and shall never cease from hearing His wonderful words. The lame shall leap! Those who could not rejoice because they were crippled with their sorrows, shall rejoice with gladness and sing the songs the angels sing, just as the lame man in the gospel leaped for joy and amazement when Jesus said to Him, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home” (Luke 5:24). If we trust, our hearts shall overflow with the refreshing presence of the Holy Spirit.
The last three verses (verses 8-10) focus on total restoration. “And a highway shall be there, called the holy way…” (Isaiah 35:8). Jesus is our highway; without Him we cannot get to the Father and in Him also is our holiness. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have a place in God’s kingdom.