January 18, 2018
READ: Isaiah 35:1-10
The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! (v.6).
Sitting near the front of our church every Sunday you’ll find a family with a teenage son who personifies joy. Landon never says anything more than “hi” due to his special needs. But he loves music!
Landon brings a toy guitar with him into the worship service. During the songs, he hunches earnestly over his guitar, strumming emphatically while holding it upside down. He’s not playing chords you’d recognise, but he’s spot-on with the beat. We love to hear him worship now, but I wonder how he will praise God in the next life!
On one particular Sunday, as the praise team closed with an a cappella version of “Holy, Holy, Holy”, Landon ceased playing his guitar and looked up. From the section where the hearing-impaired worshippers were sitting, we could hear one man singing. The man was nowhere near the notes—or even the words—due to his inability to hear. Though it sounded distorted and even mournful, it was moving and holy!
The book of Isaiah describes how it is on this pain-wracked planet, and then how it will be. The prophet shares scene after scene of devastation, of arid landscapes strangled by thistles and thorns, of war at every turn. Then suddenly he escorts us into an oasis of hope. “Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days,” he writes (Isaiah 35:1). “When [Messiah] comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf” (v.5).
Jesus did those things when He came to Earth. Yet much of His promised healing remains unfulfilled. We still have wars and hatred and disabilities and struggles. But Christ has promised to come back again. One day, “The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!” (v.6). Jesus will make everything new (Revelation 21:5).
365-day plan: Genesis 28:10-22
In Matthew 11:1-6, notice how Jesus cites Isaiah 35 as He reveals Himself as the Messiah to John the Baptist.
What causes you to long for Jesus’ complete redemption of His creation? What causes you to praise Him?