Reflections on Isaiah Chapter 35
by Joseph Jagde
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Isaiah chapter 35 reads as follows;  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
This very poetic chapter of Isaiah gives evidence of a massive outpouring of the presence of the Lord, even against the backdrop of utter desolation.
The saving hand of the Lord reaches into the desolation and all is utterly changed.
These verses show just how comprehensive the presence of the Lord can be, and how it overshadows with an unending abundance.
Also highlighted is the forceful presence of the restoration given, where all is made right, there are now pools in what had been utter wasteland.
This chapter addresses the fearful, who may have had good reasons to be fearful. They may have had a significant illness along the lines of those described here. They may have experienced lack to the extent of desert like conditions or have literally been in a desert. It might not always have been them, but it could also have been close enough to elicit fear that maybe they were next.
For those who were under the presence of all these problems, if there is to be a turnaround from these troubles, would it be enough, would it be lasting, and would a mistake get them right back into the dregs of difficulty. Even if someone has some relative strength, a vision of mounting difficulties becomes alarming and begins to further sap energy and strength.
In verse 6 it describes the waters as breaking out, which indicates something like a sudden gush of water from nowhere.
Part of the fear that is present is not only from the close and impending troubles, but the troubles that might be perceived as coming from afar and then closer and closer in time and space.
Verse 8 speaks of a highway for those who are restored, and it is only for them. The people might still be wayfarers and foolish to a degree, but they will retain under the presence of the Lord enough vision to stay and follow this highway which is a way that will be available. This might not be a literal highway, in that those wayfarers or travelers might be wandering away but they will still be in sight of these safe mystical path that the Lord is providing.
It is possible there could have been no way out, or that the help and restoration described would only be momentary, but these verses describe that there will be a continuous way that can be found and followed, away from all of the difficulties that haunted even the land itself before the restorative breakthrough came.
The ransomed of the Lord indicates that they were brought for a price and is indicative of being rescued. From this there can be an understanding that some of the provisions described in these verses, such as the provisions for physical healings, such as the provisions of water, of enough for everyone individually, and the waters breaking through right in the presence of the desert in which they were metaphorically marooned, are all constituted as part of the rescue or ransom.
In verse 8 there is the implication that the surpassing knowledge of the Lord is part of the umbrella of protection even for those who may in some degrees still be lacking to the point of foolishness, which could be anybody with regards to a given area.
In verse 1 it says the wilderness and solitary place will be glad for them, and this is also parcel to discernment to what the restoration could be, in that that what is viewed as joyful, or gladdening to the outside observes who can also rejoice to the restorative powers and presence of the mighty Lord.
Finally, the breakthrough that is given, can be clearly seen as described in verse 2, as it blossoms abundantly and now they can see the glory of the Lord, and this breakthrough is seen as given and draped with glory.
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