As we continue to look at the images of the Messiah described in Isaiah, this week we’ll looking at the Messiah as The Stream.
For those who heard this prophecy when it was first given, the images of the desert and stream would have brought immediate thoughts of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years before getting into the promised land. They too would have recognized that they were in a desert place both geographically and even spiritually. So, for the Messiah to be seen as a stream the people would take faith and have hope that when he came he would bring life.
Hope is what this passage brings. The hope for the people of Judah that although they were living in the desert-like places, one day they would be living in places teaming with life and fulfillment. For us, although we often find ourselves waiting in desert places, longing for things to be better, for them to be right, we have hope that the Messiah has come and that he will come again, and when he does there will be new and abundant life.
The hope that we have is not a wish, but instead it is something concrete and rooted in the reality that this passage came to fulfillment for the people of Israel at the time of its writing, it has been and is being fulfilled through Jesus and his church, and because of that it will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again.
It is hope that gives us the strength to endure when life is difficult and struggles continue to mount, and there is only one true object of our hope, and that hope is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. And we wait for his coming with eager hearts.
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The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.