A transformation is coming. The desert will no longer be a barren place, but will blossom. God Himself is coming. He promised it long ago by the prophet Isaiah. My favourite carol this Christmas was ‘O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel’. The first verse is about the longing for Messiah to come, and the following verses are about the longing for His presence now and for His second coming.
Jesus came the first time as the promised One, and when John the Baptist had some doubts about whether He really was the Messiah, Jesus referred him to Isaiah Chapter 35 verse 5-6. The evidence was there for all to see; forgiveness of sins, deliverance from demonic powers, and miraculous physical healing. Jesus could point to the blind who could now see, the lame who could now leap, and the mute who could sing for joy.
Yet, as wonderful and exciting as this was, it was all yet a ‘foretaste’ of what is to come. There will be a second coming of Jesus, when all that’s wrong with the world will be put right. Isaiah goes on to say ‘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’ (Isaiah 35:6-7).
There will be a highway for the redeemed of the Lord to walk upon. It is a holy highway, so there’s no danger of being attacked or harmed in any way there. ‘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’ (Isaiah 35:10).
When Jesus came the first time He introduced us to God’s Kingdom here on earth. All of us may make the choice to be in that Kingdom. It means asking Jesus to be our Saviour and forgive us for all our sins. It means following Him as closely as we know how, constantly asking Him to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit. But the fullness of the Kingdom of God is not yet here on earth. We are all made aware of this fact every day in our news media. As Christian believers, we know that there’s a better day coming. And how we long, with all creation, for that time of complete redemption and restoration, that time of no more suffering and no more evil!
Prayer: Loving, heavenly Father, we thank You for the many promises to us in Your word of what is to come. We know there is going to be a time when Jesus will truly be King of kings and Lord of lords, and earth will reflect heaven as He reigns over all. We are so thankful that You give us a foretaste by Your Holy Spirit, even in the present age in which we live. Amen.
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