Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 33-35)

Book of Isaiah

Today’s section starts with a message to Assyria. God tells them that even though they are mighty, and will destroy the Northern Kingdom, they will be destroyed. He goes on to describe that Jerusalem will end up being strong. “I will be like a tent whose ropes are taut and whose stakes are firmly fixed.” (33:20, NLT). “The people of Israel will no longer say, ‘We are sick and helpless,’ for the Lord will forgive their sins.” (33:24, NLT). The Lord then explains His wrath against all the nations of the world. He states that He has problems with every single one of them. Yet He singles out the nation of Edom (the descendants of Jacob’s twin brother, Esau). He promises that the Edomites’  land will be destroyed and become a wasteland. God then delivers a hope for salvation and restoration. He describes the land as becoming lush and abundant. “Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy!” (35:2, NLT). Lastly there will be a road that cuts through the deserted area called the Highway of Holiness. This road can only be found and traveled on by those following God; all others would perish in the wilderness.

The “Highway of Holiness” really is another prophecy about God’s redemptive plan. “And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways.” (35:8, NLT). Before Christ, we were all stuck in our sin. There was no way out. I love the phrase that the pastor Louie Giglio has been throwing around, “Sin makes you dead”. Sin is exactly like the deserted land being described in these chapters. Nothing is alive in sin, everything is dead. Yet a pathway has been cut for us to travel through this deserted land and into a living place full of singing and joy. That path was created when Christ died on the Cross. Jesus told his disciples, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;” (John 14:6). Jesus is telling us that if we want to get through the deserted place and come into life with God, we must travel on the Highway of Holiness. The only way to reach that Highway is through belief in Jesus Christ.

 

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