December 7, 2010

Dec. 7: Dry land that blossoms abundantly

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By Adriel Santiago, a senior theater and communication double major from Souderton, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 35:1-10 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:

Isaiah tells us to be a voice that strengthens the weak hands and the feeble knees, and which says to the fearful, “Be strong, do not fear!” It is the voice also heard in Isaiah 40, crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

How is it that a dry land can blossom abundantly? I don’t think it is a trick question; it needs water. Revelation 1 talks about the voice of the Son of Man being as the sound of many waters. It is this same voice that dwells within our hearts. Thus, rivers of living water burst forth from us as we cry out in the wilderness and in the desert. The dry lands rejoice when we speak, for it is as water to them.

When we say, “behold, your God will come” it is, “then” that eyes and ears are opened. As we strengthen the weak and encourage the fearful, we prepare the highway called the Holy Way. On this highway, the ransomed people of God return to Zion with singing and rejoicing.

I pray you may hear the voice of God this day. May it be as water to your spirit, that you also blossom abundantly.

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 35:1-10 (NRSV)

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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Comments (5)

  1. I found this very meaningful. Am doing daily devotions at a local nursing home and would like to quote part of your thoughts. I will credit you and Goshen if you would allow me to do so. May you know God’s blessing in this holy season.

    Sandra Krantz December 7, 2010 |
  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    Merry Christmas to you
    Peace

    Frank and Cara Ulrich December 7, 2010 |
  3. What a beautiful picture! And what refresing thoughts! I am working with these verses for Sunday services.

    Ruth December 7, 2010 |
  4. I am returning to your reflection after someone commented on it to me yesterday. Thank you for putting the essence of this text into present tense. We are not forever waiting for this. . .it dwells in our heart from which it gushes forth. Wow.

    Joan December 9, 2010 |
  5. Wow. What a powerful and joyful message! What was once a mystery is now a living truth. Through figurative language, our God tells us of the joy and protection we find in Him. I recently watched the movie “The Gospel of John” and was reminded of how Jesus came to reveal the mysteries of our God. He came to fulfill and begin all that this passage proclaims and that is good news!

    Ben January 13, 2011 |