A Study in the Word – Isaiah 35:1-10


Isaiah 35 serves as a welcome relief from the punishment to befall God’s enemies (Isaiah 34). Bounty and beauty will belong to the remnant, both in the natural world and in their lives. Instead of desolation, Israel will witness a desert that “sings” for joy (35:1). The region of the Jordan Valley from Galilee to the Dead Sea will “blossom profusely” (35:2a). Unlike the barren waste of Edom after its destruction by fire (34:5), all nature in Israel will reflect the glory of the Lord (35:2b).

Jerusalem will hear the prophet’s call to encourage one another with this hope. Trusting in the Lord and His deliverance will strengthen them and refresh them (35:3). For those who are fearful and in desperate need of courage, Isaiah speaks of the personal intervention of God on their behalf. His “recompense” upon evil will come, but His people will be saved (35:4).

The remnant will receive and enjoy their salvation in the fullness that only the Lord can provide. Isaiah details four ways God will act. The first is physical healing. The blind, deaf, lame, and mute will each receive a reason for rejoicing when the affliction is lifted. No need to spiritualize this physical healing; yet each one is healed so that the person can glorify the Lord in the particular way healing came. The blind can then see the glory of the Lord. The deaf can hear the voice of the Lord. The lame can run and jump in celebration before the Lord. The tongue of the mute, so long frustrated to communicate with others, can then shout the praises of the One who heals (35:5-6).

The deliverance of the remnant will see water in such abundance that it will more than meet the needs of the land, eventuating in the land’s becoming lush and green (35:7). The “highway of Holiness” back to Israel’s home shows that only individuals who are “redeemed” will travel on it (35:8-9). Because this highway is holy, access comes only through faith in the God who will provide for the journey back to Him.

The fullness of salvation will culminate through the actual return to the homeland of the “ransomed” (35:10). The “everlasting joy upon their heads” reminds of the final celebration of the ransomed in Revelation 21-22. Their joy is an affirmation of biblical faith.

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: dm5867se@outlook.com


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