Isaiah 35:8 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:

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.

Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.

5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

 

MEMORY VERSE: Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. —Isaiah 52:8

 

CENTRAL THOUGHT: By way of the highway of holiness have come many precious souls in this gospel day unto Zion, the Church of God, and although their numbers are few in comparison with the multitudes who throng the way to destruction, they are precious in the sight of God.

 

WORD DEFINITIONS

 

Isaiah 35:8 “The wayfaring men, though fools shall not err therein”: The Septuagint renders this passage a little clearer: “But the dispersed shall walk on it [the highway of holiness] and shall not go astray.”

Isaiah 54:1 “Children of the desolate”: This refers to the converts and children of worldly churches and organizations not led by the Spirit of God, whose children are not won by the true gospel, but by weakened and loose doctrines of men that appeal to the flesh.

 

LESSON BACKGROUND

 

We have drawn our scriptures today from the 35th and 54th chapters of Isaiah. Chapter 35 is definitely full of New Testament predictions of peace, prosperity, and salvation through Christ. Through the grace of Jesus, the desert hearts of men will rejoice and blossom as the rose. Weak hands will be strengthened, and feeble knees will be confirmed. Life and health and praises break forth in the dry and parched wilderness. There is found that highway of holiness on which the ransomed of the Lord return with singing to Zion’s blessed state. The life of Christ and the fulness of His grace restores mankind to the glorious city of God.

Isaiah 54 follows the description of Christ’s atonement and suffering in chapter 53. The last verse of that chapter closes with a note of victory for Christ; God dividing Him a portion with the great, and dividing the spoil (the triumph and victory) with the strong, making intercession for the transgressors. The first verse of chapter 54 is quoted in Galatians 4:27, after which Paul had declared that the Jerusalem which is above (the Church of God) is free, which is the mother of us all. Jesus also quoted from this chapter in John 6:45, when He said that all who come to Him are drawn of the Father, and are all taught of God. These quotations from this chapter and the way that the New Testament applies them, is ample proof that the main thing that is spoken of is the Church.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee

QUESTIONS

  1. Who will walk in the way of holiness?
  2. What do people obtain when they come to Zion?
  3. Why and how does sorrow and sighing flee away?
  4. Who is the husband of Zion?
  5. What special blessing will the children of Zion—the Church of God—have?
  6. What is the heritage that God promises to the servants of the Lord?
  7. Why does God allow His true Church to be barren, afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted?
  1. Will He leave them thus always?
  2. What does God promise to do about it?

     

 

COMMENTS AND APPLICATION

 

At the time of the prophecies of Isaiah to the Church, literal Jerusalem and the Israelite nation were in great distress. As he put it in chapter 64, verse 10: “Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.” The prophet is pointing forward to the Messiah, the Christ, who would bring about victory and deliverance for the people. The people who would be united to Christ would make up the great Church of God which would go forth in triumph and power to the end of time.

Scattered among the hosts of apostate Israel were true hearts yearning and looking for a better day. God told Elijah in the time of his deepest despair that He had yet reserved unto Himself seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed their knees to the image of Baal.

God knows where the faithful and upright in heart are. There is yet a remnant with whom God can work. They will be accounted worthy to walk before the Lord in white and travel the highway of holiness. They will come to Zion with great rejoicing. They will not draw back from the responsibilities that are theirs as the true saints of God. God promises them His help and blessings. They will pass through the fires of persecution and distress, but God will bring them out triumphantly at the last.

God’s Church is a triumphant Church. No weapon that is formed against her shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against her in judgment shall be condemned. If God be for us, who can be against us? Christ is at the right hand of God, interceding for us. Let us sing and rejoice, for the Lord will have mercy on His true people and deliver them from all of their troubles and trials.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee

 

REFLECTIONS

 

Promises of comfort and hope were fulfilled to Zion after the Lord had chastened them for their idolatry and many sins. The verse in Hebrews 12:5 comes to mind, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.” When we are chastened, the enemy will be glad to tell us that God doesn’t love us and that He doesn’t care. However, just the opposite is true. Verse six says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” In the Lord’s correction of the seven congregations in Revelation, He always held out hope, restoration, and comfort for repentance.

Verse eleven says, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Let us not forget—we are the children of God and the Lord corrects us, as we also have corrected our children. The Lord has numerous means for chastening at his disposal. Affliction, financial loss, enemies, and family difficulties, to name a few. Chastening is difficult and grievous but much needed. Let us hold on with an humble spirit and endure during such times, because this is how we learn—and just around the corner is the comfort which we need.

–Bro. Bob Wilson