July 24 (Daily reading: Isaiah 35-36) Isaiah 34 revealed God’s coming judgment, “the LORD’S indignation is against all the nations” (v. 2). Isaiah 35 is a beautiful picture of God’s redemption. Even “the wilderness and the desert will be glad” … all “will see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God” (vv. 1-2). This promise of redemption, this declaration of renewal, encourages us to comply with Isaiah’s appeal: “Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not” (vv. 3-4). Anxiety, fear, weariness, and weakness can accompany any people of any time, for multiple reasons. But there is always the promise: “Your God will come…He will save you” (v. 4). We need to hear this message and we need to share it!
In this vision of our future, we read about a place where only the redeemed will walk, a place called “the Highway of Holiness.” It will be for those who walk the walk! “The redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (35:9-10). John saw this in his vision: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 7:17). In anticipation of this heavenly walk, we hear John’s appeal “to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 Jn. 2:6), or as Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:8, to “walk as children of Light” (Eph. 5:8).
– Al Gary