Today's reading is toward the end of the Law-word (chs. 1-39; the Gospel-word is chs. 40-66). But there are tastes of the other in each. Today: a breath of fresh air. Verses 1 and 2--the wilderness doesn't bloom! God makes it do so. It makes full sense only after Christ's second coming (our current lives are a dreary wilderness). After this age passes away, we believers will live in the flourishing new heavens and new earth.
Why Lebanon and Sharon? Both areas are/were idyllic, the pinnacle of beauty. Cedars, mountains (snow-capped, of course). Now the focus shifts to "weak hands...feeble knees...an anxious heart." Hope! Be strong, fear not. The reason: "Behold, your God will come" to save! Odd pairing of vengeance/recompense with salvation. The reason: judgment always accompanies salvation. God saves the humble but punishes those who oppose Him.
Jesus told John's followers to tell him what they saw (vv. 5-6). This is proof of His deity--healing the believing. All of our sicknesses (ch. 52). Relief for our earthly life ("burning sand") is found in the pool of Christ, the Word of God.
Verse 8--"the Way of Holiness." The highway to heaven is Jesus Christ. Read ch. 34--much judgment pertaining to the highway. Against the Edomites, brethren of Jacob. Why? They resisted the Israelites crossing into their heritage; they resisted God and His will. God made the highway anyway. He makes clean all who walk on it--even if they are fools (!). (We, who sin, are fools.)
Monday, December 17, 2007
Today's text was Isaiah 35:1-10.