Isaiah 35:1-10 - Sunday Scripture Reflection
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
On this Third Sunday of Advent, we continue to reflect on the words of the prophet Isaiah. This week's Scripture lesson is from chapter 35, a section of the Book of the prophet Isaiah that is toward the end of the group of chapters called "First Isaiah" (chapters 1-40) and describes a hope-filled future for those who trust in God. Building on last week's Scripture lesson in Isaiah (the Peaceable Kingdom), we hear not only of a restored world, but a world that is filled with joy and hope. We will reflect on these prophecies, especially in a world where it is easy to feel that the path into the future is a lonely or rocky journey.
Our Scripture passage is found in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Isaiah 35:1-10).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
Read the Scripture lesson selected for this week: Isaiah 35:1-10. As you read the words of the prophet, reflect on the difficult circumstances of the Jewish exiles in Babylon who are longing to be back in Jerusalem. Have you ever experienced difficult or lonely times when you longed for a "reversal of events" to help bring you into happier times? How do you think the Jewish people felt as they heard the prophet's hopeful words?
Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, and reflect on the mighty reversals the prophet predicts God will do. What do you think the prophet's words meant to the powerful people, who were living very well in the current conditions? One aspect of the prophets words that might be troubling or confusing for some is the "vengeance of God"; but reflect on the idea that this promise means that retribution or punishment is for God to give, and God alone. Do you think it would be difficult for an oppressed people to leave the justice of their oppressors to God?
Read the "WHERE..." paragraph below and reflect on what you believe the prophet meant by the highway created by God for God's people...the Holy Way? What do you imagine a journey on the Holy Way would be like?
Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's connection with this Scripture passage and the season of Advent: "the Scripture and the season of Advent both point backward to old promises, which point forward to a fuller, future joy. We still live in the in-between time, as this prophet's people did."
Read the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, and reflect on the author's statement about how God will not only take away our sorrows, but will take away our need to even sigh. What does it mean to you, in your life, that your joy and hope in God will be so complete that you need not even sigh in worry about your future?