Tucked between chapter 34, which describes the judgment of God against many nations, and chapter 36, which tells of the terrible Assyrian invasion of Judah, is one of the most beautiful of God’s promises for His people. Isaiah 35 tells what happens when the living water that only the Messiah, Jesus, can provide, floods into the driest of lands. “The desert shall … blossom…” has long been considered a Messianic Promise, and the rose has traditionally been the flower mentioned by the Scripture. Although the actual plant in chapter 35 is one of the bulb family and more closely resembles a crocus than the modern rose, the stylized rose (five petaled) has been called the Messianic Rose for it refers to the promise of a Messiah.
In this passage God’s people hear of encouragement to the exhausted and strength to the feeble. We are promised sight for the blind, hearing for the deaf, leaping for the lame, and joyful shouting for the dumb. Land which was formerly considered desolate and worthless now has the glory of Lebanon, the majesty of the mountains, highways of righteousness, and safety for God’s people.
Writing between 720 and 700 BC, Isaiah could only have known through the eyes of faith the fulfillment of his words. Around 30 A.D., Jesus encouraged, strengthened, healed, and fed just as Isaiah wrote 700 years before. Looking back from the 21st Century, we know that the promise of a Messiah came true and we have the wonderful story of how that happened. Even now we do not have the whole story, but when the Messiah comes again in glory, each line of this marvelous promise will come literally true.
Have you ever considered the many symbols of our Christian faith that are in evidence around us all the time and that we so often take for granted? Flowers, butterflies, birds, trees‑‑all these have significance for us as Christians and serve to remind us of the love of our Father who has given us these gifts.
As we with our families consider our gracious Lord each day during the Advent season, and every day in the year, let us take time to notice the innumerable reminders of His love, and thank God for them.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Come thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a Child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.