Isaiah 35 offers a beautiful picture of God’s future work of salvation. The people who languished under the prospect of impending defeat at the hands of their enemies needed to know that a day was coming in the future when God would once and for all defeat His enemies and restore His people. Such a message would provide God’s people the hope and courage necessary to courageously follow Him through the difficult days that lie ahead (Isaiah 35:3-4). This future day of which Isaiah speaks in chapter 35 includes spiritual and physical healing for the oppressed, holiness among God’s people, the absence of sorrow, and the joy that comes to God’s people when they dwell in His presence in perfect fellowship.
As followers of Jesus Christ who live in a fallen world, we long for this day of which Isaiah speaks to become a reality. In our personal lives and in the world at large, we constantly struggle against in the effects of the Fall. But, we have faith that things will not always be this way. In the book of Revelation, John offers the church of Jesus Christ a glimpse at what our experience will be when Christ returns and ushers in the new heaven and the new earth. Listen to how John describes this glorious, future day in Revelation 21:1-4:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:1-4).
For those of us who are in Christ, one day death, crying, and pain will be no more and we will dwell in the presence of God forever. As you ponder this glorious day in the future, ask God to strengthen your weak hands and feeble knees and to calm your anxious heart so that you might be strengthened to live for Him every day between today and the day Jesus Christ returns to make all things new.
Isaiah 35 (ESV):
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2 it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
3 Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8 And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.