I recently stumbled upon Isaiah 35. I am half tempted to just stop there and tell you all to read it (which you should), but that would be a little bit of a waste of a blog post, right?
For me, Is 35 came at the right time. I don’t know what translation you are reading, but in the NIV, the chapter is entitled “Joy of the Redeemed.” I think it’s an accurate description. I’m usually pretty good about going back and finding out what was going on in Israel at the time, looking at context, etc. However, for now, I just need this chapter to be a stand alone. I’ve read the chapter several times this week. If you don’t have the time to read it now (it’s only 10 verses…if you have the time to read this post, then you should have the time to read the chapter…lol), let me give you a quick summary. Basically, Isaiah writes about barren land being made fruitful, the week becoming strong, the lame leaping like deer, and a highway called Way of Holiness.
It’s a chapter you can’t read and not feel great at the end. I could write ad nauseum about this chapter because it’s so great. It reminds us God uses our weaknesses for His strength. He uses the dried out dead places in our lives to bring forth life. The places which were formerly places of fear become places of rest.
The chapter ends with this:
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and those the Lord has rescued 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.
We all go through difficult times in our lives where it seems impossible to be overtaken with gladness and joy. However, we have been promised that, not only will we be rescued, but we will also enter Zion with singing and everlasting joy. I’m sure if you were to go back and look at the history, Isaiah was writing about returning from Jerusalem from captivity. Though, haven’t we all felt like we were in captivity at some point in time? I think the promise still holds true. We all long to enter Zion, and it’s always good to remember that we will make it, that this journey does have an end (and a good one at that!).
If you can, allow yourself to be overtaken with gladness and joy. Allow the everlasting joy to crown your head. Be at peace knowing you will enter Zion.