““For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”” (Isaiah 55:12–13 ESV)
Isaiah closes chapters 40-55 with a picture of the triumphal grace of God that ultimately sets all things right. He paints a picture of the consummation of all things – a time when joy and peace reign; a time when the curse is removed and arid, unproductive land becomes fruitful; a time of eternal peace and prosperity in the presence of God!!!
“And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they 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; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:8–10 ESV)
God will provide a clearly marked highway for his sovereignly elected redeemed and ransomed people. This highway will be marked with a sign post called the “Way of Holiness.” This highway leads to the presence of God; there will be no threats or difficulties on this road. The redeemed will walk in gladness and joy; gone are sorrow and sighing, difficulty and hardship. This is the restoration of the rhythm & rest found in Eden – in High definition. This is when Jesus makes all things new, as they should be (Revelation 21:5).
“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill. And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim, but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands. And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.” (Isaiah 25:6–12 ESV)
In contrast to the world’s party that is portrayed in 24:7-11, God reveals a picture of His bounty and grace. It is marked by people from all nations who will feast on spectacular food and perfectly aged wine (verse 6). Death will be swallowed up, God will wipe away the tears of sorrow and suffering and He will dwell with His people – they will never again feel abandoned or alone (verses 7-8). God will humble human pride. The hope that His people had about being identified by Him is now a reality, they experience that they are His! Salvation will prove to be worth the wait as He makes all things new, He will renew the earth, society and culture – we will set them right, the way that they were intended to be (verse 9). The powerful hand of God will squash all opposition to Him; He will reveal the uselessness of self-salvation and human pride (verses 10-12). This is the enduring hope that our faith offers to us, there is coming a day when God will restore all things, judge evil, redeem His chosen people, and set up a kingdom where there is no oppression, pain or strife. The harmonious rhythm of the Garden will return and this time we will have redeemed hearts that will worship instead of rebel.