Green Valley Sermons

The Savior Is Coming

Sunday, October 7, 2018        


Isaiah 35


We are glad to be in our new building, are we not? Thanks to God and all those who have worked so hard to bring us to this place.


We are here with a purpose. We do not get to choose our purpose because we belong to someone else. He decides our mission and our purpose for being.


He calls us to share a message with the world, and more specifically with our community. We believe that mission was planned by God from the very foundation of the world.


Isaiah could share what God told him about this mission because this was not news to God. To us, it is Good News. God loves us and wants to save us.


Today I want us to look at a passage of Scripture that was written hundreds of years before Christ took on human form and lived among us. There are several places in the New Testament that give us evidence that this passage in Isaiah was intended, by God, to prepare His people for the coming of the Son of God. Let’s read together from Isaiah 35.


Isaiah 35:1 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. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and the ransomed of the Lord 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. (NIV)


“They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.” This from verse 2. The glory of the Lord was coming. People would see it. Has it come yet? Has anyone seen it yet? I proclaim to you that He has come. We have seen the glory of God. His name is Jesus. Remember, His name means, “Jehovah Saves!”


Isaiah said to say to the fearful, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you.”


When I first read that, I thought to myself that God was coming to judge Israel’s enemies. As I thought more about it I realized that God comes to judge us all the time. He comes and points out to us those things we do that do not bring honor and glory to Him. He points out to us when we have not loved Him, or other people. His Holy Spirit convicts us and we are to agree with His judgement of us. When we do, He is faithful to forgive us and He encourages us to do better.


His salvation, and His judgment go hand in hand. We need not fear Him or His judgment. For those of us who are trusting Him, we know our sins are covered by the blood of the Son.


Isaiah is telling us about the coming of the Savior. His next section makes this clear. When John the Baptist sent a message to Jesus asking if Jesus was the ONE, Jesus sent the messenger back quoting this part of Isaiah’s message.


Matthew 11:2-6


2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"


4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (NIV)


Jesus clearly felt that Isaiah’s message was foretelling His coming.


Our God saves. We need not fear Him. We must respect Him and honor Him in word and deed, but fear no longer needs to be part of our daily lives. He comes to judge, but as a loving Father who loves us and seeks to teach us how we must live.


In verses 6 and 7, Isaiah speaks of streams in the desert and water gushing forth. In a conversation with a Samaritan woman Jesus speaks of living water. See John 4:10-14


John 4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."


11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"


13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (NIV)


The Holy Spirit is spoken of in several places as water. When the life that Jesus brings comes to us, we receive this living water. The Spirit brings life to our dry thirsty souls. I believe this is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy here in Isaiah 35 about streams in the desert.


Back in our passage in Isaiah, picking up in verse 8, he says,


8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and the ransomed of the Lord 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. (NIV)


Did you know that one of the first names for those who followed Christ was “the Way” or “followers of the Way”. Luke used this designation in Acts 9:1-2.


Acts 9:1-3


9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. (NIV)


There are four other times that Luke calls the kingdom of God “the Way” (Acts 19:8-9, 19:23, 22:4 and 24:22). I think Luke believed this passage in Isaiah was a prophecy, foretelling the coming of Jesus Christ and the rise of the Christian movement.


This Way, Isaiah says, is a highway of Holiness. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are the Holy Ones who walk this highway of Holiness. It is not static. We are to be moving along the road. We are to be following the Leader. We are not called to stand still.


The redeemed will walk there, those who have been rescued by the Lord. Rescued – that is another word for saved. Are you saved? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Do you accept Him as Lord of your life? Are you seeking to walk in fellowship with Him along the Highway of Holiness?


God does not expect us to be perfect, but He also does not expect us to use our imperfection as an excuse not to do our best at living the way He calls us to live.


We are to believe that God loves us and gives us life. We are to believe that He insists on being Lord, and we are to work at obeying the great commandments.


We are called to love God and love other people. We are, or can be, the rescued who are walking along the Highway of Holiness with our Friend, Our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.


We have a message for those who are fearful of eternity, who are fearful of the future. God is coming. He sent His Only Begotten Son to help us get ready for the final judgment.


The Savior is coming. He comes to us and helps us to deal with our sin. He points it out to us and we accept the truth of what He says. We confess our sin and He is faithful to forgive us and to cleanse us.


Are you walking with Him? Are you allowing Him to lead you on this Highway of Holiness? Do you see yourself as His child and not as His enemy?


Surrender your will to Him. Accept Him as Lord. Allow Him to rescue, to save you.


If you are saved, are you sharing this Good News with others? This is God’s purpose for us as individuals and as a church.