The Big Story Devotional: Day 17

Day 17—God Will Come to Save You

Read Isaiah 35:1–10

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 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.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
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.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
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.

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.

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.
No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
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.

Reflect

After the Israelites were permitted to return to Jerusalem, and the temple and city walls were rebuilt, they continued to live under Persian rule until the Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, took control of the Middle East in 333 BC. And, after a brief period of independence, from 142 to 63 BC, Jerusalem (and the rest of the Middle East) fell under the control of the Roman Empire. Thus, although many of the Jewish people were in the land God had promised them, they were an occupied people, and their traditions, culture, and identity were increasingly threatened by the nations that controlled them. During these very challenging years, the faithful Jews held tightly to the promises God made through His prophets that He would save and restore them. We see this promise in today’s passage from the prophet Isaiah.

• What stood out to you most as you read through today’s passage?

• What elements of God’s restoration do you notice in Isaiah’s words?

• Are there promises of God that you cling to in your own life when you experience pain or difficulty? What are they? What purpose do they serve for you? What restoration are you seeking?

• What does today’s passage reveal to you about God?

Respond

God, the one who saves, thank You for Your promises. I long for the total healing and restoration of this world You have made. So many things are broken, disordered, and misused. Thank You that You came to be among Your people in Jesus and that through Him You are saving, restoring, healing, and making all things new. As best I know how, I turn my own life over to You and ask that You would restore my broken parts and disordered thinking. I await, with all the faith and hope You have granted me, Jesus’ return. Amen.

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