11.9.09, Isaiah 35:1-10

Joy of the Redeemed

1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus,
2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.

3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

9 No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,

10 and the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away

All That and More!

A wonderfully encouraging passage, specifically because it addresses so many of the states we find ourselves in – who among us has not at some point felt: feeble, weak-kneed, fearful, blind, deaf, or mute?  But the question of credibility enters our mind at this point, the question of whether God can really address all of these situations and states of life?  It sounds too good to be true, like some kind of spiritual snake-oil (Cures Blindness and Baldness, with just ONE dose!)…

But remember the ministry of Jesus, the feeble that leaped off their mats as he passed by.  Remember how he pulls on the tongue of the mute, and they speak words they had no experience forming.  He puts mud on the eyes of the blind, and they receive sight.  The fearful lepers and prostitutes and unclean find strength and confidence in him.  So can God really address all of these situations, all of these problems in our lives?…yes!  The evidence is Jesus.

And so personally, it is good to remember that there is not one situation you find yourselves in from which God cannot save, which is beyond his purview or his power.  We do not have to be overly selective in deciding which situations we bring before the Lord, because Christ revealed that he has power, and is the answer, to them all.

Questions

1. Is there one situation where you honestly don’t think God has any control?  Why does that one situation stand out?

2. Do you remember Jesus addressing a situation similar to yours?

3. What would it look like to, as stated above, to bring that situation to God to address?

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11.9.09, Isaiah 35:1-10

Joy of the Redeemed

1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus,
2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.

3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

9 No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,

10 and the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away

All That and More!

A wonderfully encouraging passage, specifically because it addresses so many of the states we find ourselves in – who among us has not at some point felt: feeble, weak-kneed, fearful, blind, deaf, or mute?  But the question of credibility enters our mind at this point, the question of whether God can really address all of these situations and states of life?  It sounds too good to be true, like some kind of spiritual snake-oil (Cures Blindness and Baldness, with just ONE dose!)…

But remember the ministry of Jesus, the feeble that leaped off their mats as he passed by.  Remember how he pulls on the tongue of the mute, and they speak words they had no experience forming.  He puts mud on the eyes of the blind, and they receive sight.  The fearful lepers and prostitutes and unclean find strength and confidence in him.  So can God really address all of these situations, all of these problems in our lives?…yes!  The evidence is Jesus.

And so personally, it is good to remember that there is not one situation you find yourselves in from which God cannot save, which is beyond his purview or his power.  We do not have to be overly selective in deciding which situations we bring before the Lord, because Christ revealed that he has power, and is the answer, to them all.

Questions

1. Is there one situation where you honestly don’t think God has any control?  Why does that one situation stand out?

2. Do you remember Jesus addressing a situation similar to yours?

3. What would it look like to, as stated above, to bring that situation to God to address?