Come to Zion with Songs and Everlasting Joy

Isaiah 35, Additional Insights

This chapter is an anthem of Zion. It opens and closes with references to joy and singing. What is happening here is transformation, change, conversion all over, everywhere.

Questions for next study:

  • Where is the Lord in these verses? (Everywhere)
  • What are the action items for me to take as a result of what I am reading here?

All suffering ceases when the Lord comes again. But Isaiah doesn’t paint in blanket statements, he goes into details: First we start with the desert and the symbolism that is found in the desert blossoming as a rose. I’m from the desert, and there is one time of the year that the desert blossoms, and it varies from year to year directly proportionally to the amount of Spring-time rains. If it rains a lot, there are an abundance of flowers of all varieties and colors. If it rains less, then the desert is reserved.

When Isaiah says that the desert shall blossom as a rose, there is the symbolism of Living Waters coming into a desert place and the results are blossoms as roses. Isaiah goes further to say that they shall blossom abundantly! So abundantly that glory of Lebanon, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon are less than the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God.

Verses 3 and 4 are calls to action. This is our part to play: to strengthen the weak and feeble, to open our mouths and remind the fearful of the power and strength of our God, which is real.

Then, in the remainder of the chapter are the detailed promises of the end of suffering, the results of the power of God. These statements are multi-layered. The eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. In hearing and understanding the preaching of the Word, these things are spiritually fulfilled long before their literal fulfillment will be realized.

What is surprising about these prophecies of Isaiah is that these things will literally be fulfilled as well as spiritually, or figuratively.

In verse 7 we read of a highway, the way of Holiness it will be called, that will bring people to Zion. The scriptural footnotes equate this highway as similar to the parting of Red Sea when Moses lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Returning to this “highway” or “way of Holiness,” as much as this may yet be a reference to a literal prophecy (see the footnotes on verse 8a), the spiritual symbolism of “a way” that “the unclean shall not pass over” seems just as important. It is a way so perfect that even “fools, shall not err there in” and the guarantee of safety so that no lion or beast can be found there to destroy is assured.

These final verses literally describe my feelings about discipleship in the Church of Christ. For me as an individual, in some ways, this has already been fulfilled. For many who have not yet found the way, they are still searching for truth. It is my job to help others find it.

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