Isaiah 34-35
(A Vision of Zion)
July 24th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

The desert will rejoice,

and flowers will bloom in the wilderness.

- Isaiah 35:1 (GNB)

Summary of Chapters

Some commentators have labeled this two-chapter section of as “A Vision of Zion” because it concludes with scenes of God’s people returning to Jerusalem. Commentators have also suggested that this section may have been written by an anonymous author after the time of Isaiah.

The prelude to a return to Jerusalem was a prophecy of judgment against other nations, as described in chapter 34. For example, the author specifically describes the turmoil to hit Edom:

    God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation.

    - Isaiah 34:11 (NIV)

The kingdom of Edom known by the people will disappear, says the author, and wild animals will once again inhabit the land. The author tells his readers to do the following:

    Seek and read from the book of the Lord:
        Not one of these (animals) shall be missing;
        none shall be without its mate.
    For the mouth of the Lord has commanded,
        and his spirit has gathered them.

    (Isa 34:16 - NRSV)

In contrast to the judgment against Edom, we see the theme of redemption and restoration in Chapter 35, as the author describes how God will save and welcome those who walk in his ways.

The author explains how a long-term drought will be reversed: “And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes (Isa 35:7 - KJV).” He then describes a highway for those who follow the LORD. This highway enables the faithful people to enter Zion and they respond with singing and worship. It’s a safe highway. No harm will befall those on who travel it, instead they will be, “welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night. (Isa 35:10 - MSG).”

Reflection and Application

The events that are prophesized in these chapters were already known by God because time is not a barrier to him. It’s hard for us to comprehend, but the past, present and future are all mingled together as one. God revealed these truths to this author so that he could share the truth with the world.

When God commands the animals to take over a land, they do it, and he cares for them. When God commands the animals to allow safe passage for those on the “Holy Highway” they do it. Given that God has given us protection and fertile land, it is only right for us to jump on the highway to get to his house and praise him with all our heart and soul.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

Related Questions
  1. What encounters have you had with wild animals lately?
  2. In what ways does the LORD provide for his animals?
  3. How do we get on the LORD's highway?

Recommended Prayer
Father in heaven, we know that you have paved the Holy Highway for us and it has been maintained by the Saints who have gone before us. Help us to stay on your path and guide others to your entrance ramp.

Suggested Prayer Concerns
Highway Workers

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow's reading: Isaiah 36-39 (Trust in the LORD)

Comments and Questions
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