As chapter 34 is entirely given over to the description of God’s judgment on the nations, chapter 35 is the joy of redemption, a homecoming.
“Be strong, do not fear, your God will come. . . He will come to save you.”(35:4) Then follows the vision of what redemption means: healed bodies, eyes to see the colors, ears to hear the music, a deep well of thanksgiving, and swift feet to tell all the nations, a truly healed earth! It is an exquisite picture of the exiles’ return, singing their hearts out, their tears forgotten, and the joy of the Lord being their strength.
“A highway will be there.” (35:8) A highway there is: God in Christ has opened unto us “a new and living way.” (Hebrews 10:20) “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (II Corinthians 5:17) The eyes of faith are open, the ears once deaf to the call of God are now quick to hear, the hesitant feet are now swift and sure in their glory.
These words are no longer a poem, but an experience. For ours is a world redeemed by the love of God in Christ our Lord. The voice still calls, “this is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) Those who by faith go that way, shall know how true is the promise; “Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (35:10)
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