Monday, 19 July 2021
A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
Isaiah is like a miniature Bible with 66 chapters out of which 39 are like the Old Testament, containing judgment of God against the sin of nations and the last 27 chapters are like the New Testament, giving hope and salvation to the repentant. Out of the first 39, we have the 35th chapter with a different tone— containing a song of salvation and hope. It refreshes the reader with joyful shouts from Isaiah with God's message of salvation.
Chapters 34 & 35 make one distinct prophecy, consisting of two parts, the first containing a judgment on the enemies of the Jews, particularly Edom and the second a most beautiful description of the flourishing state of the people of God which would follow these judgments, which is our reading today. Though it is a time of joy for the return of the remnant from their captive land to their own, the final picture is the happy times of the Messianic reign. For their return, there is need for a way in the wilderness-which here is referred to as a Highway of Holiness. The “redeemed” shall walk there! The way- that was foretold in the Old Testament was revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said… “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). Before the ministry of Jesus started, John the Baptist; a special messenger was sent by God to prepare the way of the Lord as prophesied in (Isaiah 40:3): "….Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.” Jesus came to make a way for us to return to God- we who had strayed away from God and His ways, in sin and rebellion—Jesus by His death on the cross made it possible for us to be reconciled to God—a way back to God! On His body, Jesus took our sin and its punishment- death, so that a new way would be opened for us to be made right with God. We read clearly in Hebrews 10:20 of "…a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh." In other words we have this new way of Holiness for the redeemed to walk in it by the power of His Spirit. Those who have not acknowledged Him as the way to God, are still enemies with God. John 3:36 says, “…he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36). The 34th chapter of Isaiah is a warning for all who reject God and His way-the final day of judgment awaits His enemies.
These are still days of grace where God offers a chance to return to Him. God overlooked the times of our human ignorance but now expects all people, everyone to mend their ways and turn to Him (Acts 17:30). The highway of holiness is for the redeemed. The redeemed are called by God to walk in this and not through the dark valleys of this world. The Highway of Holiness is consecrated for us; let us walk in it daily, by abiding in Him. Then everlasting joy will be ours!
Dear Father, please strengthen me to walk always in this Highway of holiness. In Jesus name. Amen.