Isaiah 35:1, 2, 5-7
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.…
Accepting these words as Messianic in their scope, we may treat them as descriptive of that most blessed transformation which is effected, in the individual man and in the nation, by the gospel When the truth of Christ is made efficacious by the Spirit of God, and has had time to work out its true results, there will be found -
I. ILLUMINATION OF THE UNDERSTANDING. "The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped." Darkness of mind, deafness of soul, have prevailed; the spirit has been insensible to all that is most beautiful and harmonious, most precious, in the universe. But then shall things appear as they are. Men shall "see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God." In the Father, the Friend, the Sanctifier, the Refuge of the human soul, men will recognize him who is worthy of their trust, their love, their search.
II. GRATITUDE OF HEART. Instead of the "guilty silence," so often and so long maintained by men under the reign of sin, "the tongue of the dumb will sing" psalms of grateful praise to the Divine Author of all being, to the bountiful Giver of every good and perfect gift. The mouth will be full of song because the heart will be full of thankful remembrances.
III. STRENGTH OF SOUL. "Then shall the lame leap as an hart." Instead of the moral feebleness and incapacity which showed itself in painful spiritual inactivity, the soul will go forth, with all its renewed and regenerated powers, to do God's work, to bear witness to his Name, to work in his vineyard.
IV. LOVELINESS AND FRUITFULNESS OF LIFE. "The desert shall... blossom the rose;... the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel," etc.
1. Instead of bareness and unsightliness - the invariable product of sin in its final outworkings - there shall be spiritual beauty. There shall be "the beauty of holiness," "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit;" all that is attractive and entrancing to the changed and cultivated judgment of the good and wise.
2. Instead of fruitlessness there shall be fertility. The desert shall "blossom abundantly." Holy, devoted life will be spent in the service of a present Savior and for a sin-stricken world. We shall abound in help, in healing, in blessing.
V. PREVAILING JOY. The whole strain of the passage is jubilant, and it speaks of the desert "rejoicing with joy and singing." Sin and sadness are most intimately associated; even if they are not so inseparably allied as to be always seen together, they are so essentially connected that when one appears the other is sure to follow. It is a guilty world that knows so much of disappointment, of regret, of grief, of shame. But when the truth of God has wrought its full effect on the human soul, the prevailing note, even of the earthly life, will be that of joy. The near presence of the heavenly Father, the close friendship of the Divine Redeemer, the happy service of love, the blessed work of doing good, the exulting hope of heavenly bliss, - these are sources of joy which quicken and animate the soul, which make a holy human life radiant with a blessedness which anticipates the glory of the skies. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.