February 18, 2011

PROMISES OF GOD

Isaiah 35

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The Ransomed Shall Return

  The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
  it shall blossom abundantly
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
  The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
  They shall see the glory of the LORD,
    the majesty of our God.
  Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
  Say to those who have an anxious heart,
    “Be strong; fear not!
  Behold, your God
    will come with vengeance,
  with the recompense of God.
    He will come and save you.”
  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
  then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
  For waters break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;
  the burning sand shall become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground springs of water;
  in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
  And a highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
  the unclean shall not pass over it.
    It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
    even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.1
  No lion shall be there,
    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
  they shall not be found there,
    but the redeemed shall walk there.
10   And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
  everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Footnotes

[1] 35:8 Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it

PROMISES OF GOD



Key Verse | Isaiah 35:4

Say to those with anxious heart,
"Take courage, fear not
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you."
(Isaiah 35:4)

Bio | James Thweatt

My name is James Thweatt. I am in school, and I attend Watermark Community Church. I am the second of four children, and my parents love me most.

Central Truth

Our Lord God keeps His promises.

Devotional | Isaiah 35

Three years ago, I woke up in bed in a New York hotel. My mother was there talking to my older brother trying to tell him something, but I was too drowsy to make it out. She approached my bed, and by then I was fully...

Three years ago, I woke up in bed in a New York hotel. My mother was there talking to my older brother trying to tell him something, but I was too drowsy to make it out. She approached my bed, and by then I was fully awake. She then proceeded to tell me that my little sister, Sydney, who had been battling leukemia in the hospital next door, had passed away that morning. I was unable to respond, too overcome with the swift rush of sadness and loss. I didn't know how I was going to make it through the next year. I didn't know how any of my family was going to make it, either. That is, until I realized God's promises.

I saw Sydney live in a way that was full of courage, trust, and hope. She was weak and feeble, but she was strong in the Lord. I could see the promises of the strong hope of the Lord that Isaiah conveys in this passage. I could see that God does come and save.

God doesn't say that, as a Christian, you won't experience pain, hardship, heartache, and loss on earth. And we shouldn't expect our lives to be easier as Christians or "good people." But He does promise that, even though life's path today is filled with ruts and causes foot sores, if you believe and trust in Him, then you will have a place in His kingdom where there will be "everlasting joy" (Isaiah 35:10). "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4, NKJV)

This also means that my little sister, who knew and trusted in Jesus, and your lost loved ones are there, with Him, free of pain and sorrow and rejoicing in His presence. This is what we must look to, not the pain and lies of this broken world, but the promises and joy of the next.

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Discussion Questions

1. To what promises do you cling?

2. Are these promises true and of God?

3. Are you on the "Highway of Holiness"? (Isaiah 35:8)

4. Are you leading others to join you?

WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY

ISAIAH 31-35 (FEB 14-18)

Read Isaiah 35.

Here, Isaiah is prophesying (telling what it will be like in the future) about what it will be like when Jesus comes back. Talk about all the things that are listed in Isaiah 35 that will change when He comes back (e.g., the deaf will hear, the desert will blossom).

Who will walk in the “Way of Holiness”? What does it mean to “walk in God’s way”? Have you trusted Jesus with your life, accepting Him as your Savior so that you can walk in God’s way?

Activity: Each person take a piece of paper and make a picture about the things that you are excited about “going away” when Jesus returns. Get creative!

(Do you have the song “You Hold Me Now” by Hillsong? Think about buying it if you use iTunes and do not already have it. This is a great song that talks about what it will be like when we get to see God and the hope that we can have because we know that Jesus is coming back.)

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