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God has given us glimpses of the future to encourage our hope and faith. Prophets like Isaiah were able to see the future and relate it to the generations who followed them.
John was right when he said, “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is” (1 John 3.2).
There are many aspects of God’s plan that are not crystal clear to his followers. Yet, there are some things that we do know.
For example, we know that we will see Jesus and become like him. That is enough to greatly strengthen our hope and faith.
A Blooming Desert
The quickest way to turn your life into a barren desert is to rebel against God.
Isaiah 13-34 recounts how Judah and the nations that surrounded Jerusalem turned their world into a desert through rebellion against God, oppression, and war.
God’s future for the world is to reverse our environment. From a desert will bloom a joyous garden. Those who trust God will be part of this grand happening.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God. (Isaiah 35.1-2)
Let’s first think about a desert of the spirit. It is empty, dry, harsh, and often painful. We make our spiritual desert when we turn from God’s direction and follow our own.
When people begin living in a friendship relationship with God, he enables them to see his glory and majesty. The result is the kind of joy that only God provides.
Now, consider a physical desert. Imagine living where you have to walk miles to a well that contains impure water. Think of the hardships that desert dwellers endure, simply trying to scratch out an existence.
What if their desert began to blossom abundantly? How would these desert dwellers feel?
This is not some idle dream. It is God’s prophetic word. One day, what Isaiah wrote will become earth’s reality.
Today, we can fully trust God to fill us spiritually and to bless those who live in a desert existence.
Jesus and the Broken
Vulnerable and broken people are similar to a physical desert. Isaiah prophesied of a time when the weak would be strengthened.
Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. (Isaiah 35.3-6)
John the Baptist wondered if Jesus were the Messiah. Jesus responded to the messengers from John and said, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them” (Luke 7.22).
Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s words in the way he treated people.
Let’s not forget the kinds of people who received Jesus’ ministry. They were people who are frequently overlooked by society.
The same people were oppressed by the powerful in Isaiah’s day. Yet, God made it clear that they are not ignored by him. Instead, they receive his special interest and care.
Just as the desert will ultimately bloom, so will the disadvantaged of the earth be blessed.
As we consider our response to God’s activity, I encourage two decisions on our part.
(1) Trust in God is paramount. Isaiah teaches this lesson over and over again. The spiritual desert can only become a blooming garden by fully relying on God.
(2) As we notice the people whom Jesus served, let’s join him and serve them, too.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.