WHEN GOD SHOWS UP
In the 1989 movie version of Pollyanna, Polly tells the minister that there are 800 glad texts in the bible. I think there are at least that. In fact, some scholars say there are 826. I think that Isaiah 35 is one of those glad passages. In fact, heaped down, pressed down and overflowing. One of the most beautiful passages in the whole of scripture written in poetic terms. In the middle of a life-threatening culture there is a need for God to show up.
Isaiah 35 describes when He does just that.
Can we claim these promises for today?
How do His kids navigate through the wilderness?
How do we stay on the path?
Can we do it with joy?
I have more questions than answers
I am just the storyteller
The Highway of Holiness
In the Prophet Isaiah's day special roads were built, usually elevated, above the surrounding countryside that only priests and kings could travel on.
On the highway that Isaiah describes we enter the realm of the sacred
It is more than a sacred day,
A sacred hour
It is a way of life
It may be what the early believers called
Holiness is a word that may feel uneasy
Alien to our world
Mysterious and Mystical
At the center of this poem is the defining characteristic of God that makes him unique amongst the gods or religions of that day.
He heals the land and He heals the people
The Creator God
What does it look like when God shows up?
"The dessert and the parched land will be glad
The wilderness will rejoice and blossom
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom
It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy
The glory of Lebanon will be given it
The splendor of Carmel and Sharon
They will see the glory of the Lord
The splendor of our God
Strengthen the feeble hands
Steady the knees that give away
Be strong, do not fear
Your God will come
He will come with justice
With divine retribution
He will come to save you
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
And the ears of the deaf be unstopped
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
The burning sand will become a pool
The crusty ground will be bubbling springs
In the haunts where jackals once lay
Grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. /Isaiah 35
"Out of the Ivory Palaces
Into a world of woe
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go
In garments glorious He will come
To open wide the door
And I will enter my heavenly home
To dwell forever more." /Henry Barraclough