The whole chapter is beautiful and powerful. It includes these marvelous words: ///
3 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
4 Say to those with anxious heart,
“Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with a vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.” ///
So often we need that, don’t we? ///
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. ///
I see spiritual meaning in this. Those who could not see and understand the truth and wonders of God… those who could see only darkness… they will be able to see the goodness of God and the glorious wonders that He has for those who wait for Him. And those who hear only dicouragement and misery will hear His voice. And those who are so broken by circumstances that they cannot walk with God will be healed and set free to dance or leap for joy. And those whose tongue is muted by pessimism and discouragement and despair will no longer have their tongue tied, and they will praise the One who came to save them.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the Arabah
7 the scorched land will become a pool
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
“Arabah” refers to the desert, so this is talking about those whose lives have become dry and dead and scorched… or areas of our lives that have become a desert. He will make them rich and they will bloom and become fertile and fruitful!
8 A highway will be there, a roadway,
And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it.
We know from the New Testament how Jesus “was made to us righteousness and holiness”, so know that this is speaking of those who have given their lives to be transformed by His power… not those who “are perfect” (for such perfect people do not exist). Here’s the proof… and this is the part of this chapter that spoke to me specifically this morning:
9 No lion will be there,
Nor will any vicious beast go up on it;
These will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there,
10 And the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
That line that I bolded: all this grace and glory is for whom?
The redeemed. The ransomed.
God pointed to that word, “ransomed.”
What does it mean if someone is ransomed? Does it mean “walking in victory?” Does it mean “someone who understands everything in the Bible and obeys perfectly?” Nope.
This line refers to where our path begins, not the end result that many of us feel guilty for not achieving already.
It says that all of this is for those who travel the path, because walking in holiness in our day to day life is a journey of transformation.
The thing that jumped out at me was this:
It’s not possible to be ransomed
unless you are being held hostage.
And a hostage is generally powerless.
But NO! It is for those who are walking the “Highway of Holiness,” and the entrance to it is found in a place where we were powerless captives. We were blind and deaf and lame and mute and living a desert of an existence… and so we still would be if Someone Else had not ransomed us.
This glorious highway is only for those who were once held hostage. It’s not for anyone who managed to get themselves free.
He has done it all. He has paid it all. All of it!
Go back and read the entire chapter again now.
Know that all of this is for those who are powerless to free themselves, but who, when Jesus paid the ransom and broke the chains, allowed Him to lead them from captivity out onto the beginning of that glorious highway.