This wonderful chapter describes some of the blessed conditions of the coming Millennium Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s break this down and see what the future holds for Israel.

Verses 1-2: “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the excellency of our God” (NKJV). At the time of this writing, Israel was a desert wasteland, but in the coming kingdom it will “blossom as the rose.” Notice how the land itself is said to “be glad” and “shall rejoice.” In keeping with this Romans 8:19-21 says, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willing, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Creation was cursed the moment sin entered into the world (see Genesis 3:17-19) and ever since then it has been waiting to be “delivered from the bondage of corruption.” When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to establish His kingdom (along with the sons of God) it will indeed be liberated! The deserts will be transformed into the beauty and grandeur of Lebanon, Carmel and Sharon.

Verses 3-4: “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; he will come and save you.” Just prior to the manifestation of the kingdom there will be a feeble remnant of believing Jews and in these verses they are promised deliverance from their enemies. Romans 11:26 echoes this same promise: “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob’.”

Verses 5-7: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongues of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes.” People and land alike will be healed by God’s transforming power! When the Lord Jesus came the first time, He manifested this same healing power, but He was rejected by His people and thus the complete fulfillment of this passage awaits His glorious return as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Verses 8-10: “A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it 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, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” We had mused on how the Lord will deliver His people from their enemies (verses 3-4); here we learn that God will lead them back to their Homeland from their worldwide dispersion. It is precious to see God’s care for them along the “Highway of Holiness,” for “no lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it.” This will be their last “holy pilgrimage,” for once they get to the Land God promised them centuries ago it will be “with singing, with EVERLASTING JOY on their heads.”

Many believe that God cast His people away forever when they rejected His Son and had Him crucified, but this passage, and many more like it, proves that Israel is destined for blessing. I would encourage you to read Psalm 2:1-10; 72:1-19; Isaiah 2:1-4; 11:1-13; 42:1-4; 60:1-61:6; 65:18-25; Jeremiah 23:3-8. (258.7) (DO)