Sometimes reality leaps off the pages of the Bible and docks itself in the reader’s mind and agenda. When that happens it is an opportunity for the splendour of the living word to make sense and fill us with wonder at the same time. Simple trust flips everything into the realm of waters in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
They will soar. They will run. They will walk. These are normal activities for birds, for fainting and powerless people. But who wants those labels?
Isaiah 35:5-6 is an eyeopening vista on what is in the works when comfort comes to town (chapter 40). There is a season for extreme intervention. Reality does not pass away because we do not read, do not want to hear or refuse to think soberly about our lives.
- Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened
- the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped
- the lame man leap as an hart
- the tongue of the dumb sing
This has got to be one of the best-crafted prophecies with Messianic reach. It connects people to the last and greatest prophet. It corners the reader with:
- FORGIVENESS OF SIN Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. (v2)
- SETS THE TIME BY UNIQUE MESSAGING. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (v3)
- REVERSALS OF CONDITIONS. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain
- THE GLORY OF GOD. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Vs 5)
- THE FACTS THAT IDENTIFY HUMANITY. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. (Vs 6-7)
- EXALTS THE WORD OF GOD. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (v8)
Streams in the desert are bound to start one leaping and the desert is bound to be unattractive.