Sunday, 25th April 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; In the habitation of jackals, where each lay, There shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The angel said the Mary, Jesus’ mum, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) In the original scripture, it means here, with the Word of God, nothing will be impossible. God’s Word is powerful for us. As the followers of Christ, we must know who we follow.
In Isaiah 35, four groups of people were mentioned:
- The eyes of the blind
- The ears of the deaf
- The lame
- The tongue of the dumb
In the Old Testament, there were no mentioning of the blind can see or the lame can walk, all these words were to prophesy about Jesus’ coming. Nobody saw it happened before so how would the Israelites respond to Isaiah’s prophesy? What was the situation the Israelites were facing during that time?
When God led the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave them Manna, the Pillar of Cloud and the Pillar of Fire, He led them cross the Red Sea and Jordan River… all the signs and wonders reminded the Israelites who God is and what God can do!
On the other hand, why are we here? Are we only here for the signs and wonders? What is the purpose of Jesus brining us the salvation? For the blind to see, just like how the Israelites saw with their eyes the power of God! The Israelites knew about Jehovah God, but they wanted something they could see in order for them to believe!
When we open the Old Testament, we see God always talked to the Israelites, but they didn’t listen, they were like the deaf. In the Book of 1 Samuel, it mentioned two kings, Saul and David, both were anointed by Samuel the prophet. But King Saul was afraid and he went to a medium to find the spirit of Samuel. King David was also afraid so he went to hide with the enemy of Israel. They wanted their own peace and used their own strength to find their peace. They were blind and deaf.
They were also lame. David wrote in the Psalm that he wanted to be in the temple of God and stay there, because he knew God’s his protection. But the Israelites enjoyed too much of what the world can provide for them, their legs were unable to move to follow God and they become the lame.
Isaiah also mentioned the tongue of the dumb. We like to bless people and God created the world with His Words and He created human with His image. So our words have power! In Luke 1:37 the angel also said the Word of God has strength! We should not doubt the power of the Word of God and we can bring power by proclaiming the Word of God.
When we proclaim, the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be unstopped, the lame will leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb will sign. God wants to restore our ‘being’ from our ‘doing’. When our ‘being’ is restored we will not struggle in this world and the only way is through the Word of God. It is the only way!
The four groups of people in Isaiah 35 are not only about the Israelites but also about us. Do we really see God’s presence with us? Do we listen to the Word of God? Do we follow God with our action? Do we use our tongue to proclaim the Word of God?
We are too used to complaining about our own problems and we fail to see God, to hear God, to follow God and to proclaim the Word of God. We want people to bless us and to satisfy our needs, in the Bible it says we need to love God and love our neighbours as how we love ourselves.
Jesus came to this world not to promise us smooth relationships with others but He promised us that we can be reborn, our image and our being and be restored. How can we be reborn? How to live in a new way instead of the worldly way? We must build our house upon Jesus, who is the Rock. Jesus followed the Word of God, which is like a GPS to guide us to live on this world.
- The wilderness
- The desert
- The parched ground
- The thirsty land
- The habitation of jackals
We all have times when we feel dry, we feel it’s enough and we can carry on any more. This dryness happens to everyone since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. It is natural but how can we live out a life as the Scriptures promise us, “For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:6)
Jesus is our living water, He can heal our dryness. When we feel dry, we want to take a break, to go on a holiday, but people will still not feel it’s enough. We will try to use other ways to make us not to feel dry, but only the Word of God can restore us.
We treasure about the good things we the world, just like the Israelites, even though God told the Israelites to destroyed everything in Canaan, but they didn’t listen. We need to never stop fellowship, to stir up the fire of God together, to pray and to follow the Word of God. God called us here for a purpose, not just to perform the signs and miracles, but to carry out the Great Commission, to teach, to disciple, to restore back our lives and to influence. We are the church with five-fold ministry, we are the church, which is always moving.
God wants to bless us, but we need to experience God first. Drop what we hold onto in our hands, follow Jesus, not our own way. “But the redeemed shall walk there” (Isaiah 35:9). We need to believe we are the redeemed, stop focusing on our problems and start focusing on what God is telling us.
Even Jesus faced temptation, He was afraid for a very short moment when He was praying, but He held onto the Word of God and straight away He was restored. He knew He lived in the Word of God, which is the only way to overcome. Believe God’s Word can give us strength!