ransom |ˈransəm |
a sum of money or other payment demanded or paid for the
release of a prisoner.
• the holding or freeing of a prisoner in return for payment of
ransom: the capture and ransom of the king.
In Chapter 34, Isaiah told of the judgment of the nations that is soon to come. Isaiah 35 tells of the kingdom age to follow.
Father in heaven, give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It is no secret that modern Israel has become an agricultural leader and a major exporter of fruit. I believe what has been happening in Israel merely foreshadows what will happen to all deserts everywhere in the millennium. What has happened in Israel is like a pre-alarm telling us to get ready. When I was younger I would set my alarm clock to go off 1/2 hour before I had to wake up. That way I could hit the snooze button three times before I had to actually wake up. There are several other signs offered in Scripture which are all simultaneously transpiring in our day. Pre-alarms.
2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
Verses 5, 6 were of course fulfilled by Jesus. Isaiah continues his practice of making prophecies that will be fulfilled at different times in history.
7 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.
8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
This highway is also mentioned in chapters 11 and 19. Isaiah gave this prophecy at a time when the devastation caused by the Assyrians made travel unsafe. Later during the intertestamental period, Israel would be caught in the middle between the Seleucid empire to the north and the Ptolemaic kingdom to the south as these two powers warred with one another. In our day, Israel is still surrounded by enemies. Isaiah sees ahead to a day when Egypt, Israel, and Assyria will be connected by a great highway which will be safe to travel on. (Isa 11:16; 19:23)
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The promises of the Kingdom Age will be fulfilled just as certainly as Jesus fulfilled the promises in verses 5 and 6. This is all well and good but these promises only matter if you are ransomed. Whether you realize it or not, you are being held captive and there is only one way of escape. Jesus has already paid the ransom for your release. All you have to do to be set free is believe it and be willing to say so: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Rom 10:9) The word Isaiah used for ransom in verse 10 is the Hebrew word padah. According to Strong, padah means ‘to release, preserve, or deliver by any means; to redeem or rescue surely’. Jewish friend, it is not enough to be chosen, you need to be ransomed. Will you trust Messiah and receive forgiveness through the perfect sacrifice He made for you on Calvary?
There has been a lot of hoo-ha in recent history, especially from the so-called progressive crowd, surrounding the method God chose to ransom his people. It would probably be more accurate to call them the regressive crowd, but that is a different discussion. In any case, they say that the Christian way is not fair because it says there is only one way. Let us just be thankful that there is a way, especially considering the cost. Jesus was quite comfortable, I’m sure, in heaven. He came because we needed to be ransomed, which was decidedly uncomfortable for Him. The cross is an instrument of death, slow and excruciating, but He embraced it. A bloody cross may not appeal to the ego or one’s worldly sense of what salvation should look like, but it does show how much Jesus loves us. Thank you Jesus for your unfathomable love for us and your mercy that endures forever. Amen.