Isaiah 35:8-10 MSG
There will be a highway called the Holy Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It’s for God’s people exclusively— impossible to get lost on this road. Not even fools can get lost on it. No lions on this road, no dangerous wild animals— Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening. Only the redeemed will walk on it. The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads, Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.
I open my Bible this Sunday to study the written word of God. Here is the Sunday message the Holy Spirit leads me to: “As all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.”
These words are so comforting to me right now. I have been walking, or limping, a roller coaster of emotions after severely spraining my ankle a few weeks ago. Yesterday I was walking to the bus stop on my crutches, and rude people were driving close to me with their cars, forcing me to go in the grass. There was no sidewalk, but the grass is so painful on crutches, not a smooth path.
The Holy Road
God promises me a smooth path, the holy road, where I will someday find rest. No evil or rude people will be allowed on that road. All my pain and tears will disappear. I will never have to use crutches on the holy road.
The holy road of the redeemed is described in Isaiah 35. If we look back at Isaiah 34, we find strong imagery. God is angry at the world as countries take up arms and fight never ending wars. The prophet describes the stars falling out of the skies, armies of stars reduced to nothing.
Stars Falling Out Of Heaven
The imagery of stars falling out of heaven is intense, but what if Isaiah is also describing earthly stars, people who thirst for power, the “important” ones on earth? Earthly stars, the greedy and the powerful, the rich who have received their reward on earth, have no place on the holy road.
Look at Isaiah 34:12
Leaders will have no one to lead.
They’ll name it No Kingdom There
A country where all kings
and princes are unemployed.
The stars will fall, the leaders will have no one to oppress. Their kingdoms will become dark places of hyenas and desolation, their thrones overgrown by weeds and the unquenchable fires of Yahweh. Their spells of cruelty invite the evil demons to dance and take over the night land.
Thistles will take over, covering the castles,
fortresses conquered by weeds and thornbushes.
Wild dogs will prowl the ruins,
ostriches have the run of the place.
Wildcats and hyenas will hunt together,
demons and devils dance through the night.
Cleansing and Healing
The stars fall in terror at night, but then comes morning, the next chapter, Isaiah 35. The cleansing and healing. Sorrows and sighs scurry away into the night. The earthly stars are cast down, and the poor and the oppressed are lifted up. Those who sorrow under the cruelty inflicted by uncompassionate people will be comforted. Those who sigh under the slavery of society will be bought and redeemed by God. Those who seek righteousness and compassion rather than personal gain will find the holy road. They will find healing and be set free.
Make a choice today. Seek the kingdom of righteousness and God’s holy road. Pray for the poor and the oppressed, and pray for holy justice on earth.
Image is courtesy of JHPhotography