Highway To Zion
Isaiah 35:1-6, 8-10 (LITV): The wilderness and dry land shall rejoice for them; and the desert shall exult and bloom like the crocus. (2) Blooming, it shall bloom and exult, even with joy and singing. Lebanon’s glory shall be given to it, the honor of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of Jehovah, the majesty of our God. (3) Make the weak hands strong, and firm up the stumbling knees. (4) Say to those of a hasty heart, Be strong! Do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance; with the full dealing of God, He will come and save you. (5) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf opened. (6) Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. For waters shall break out in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. (8) And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called, The Way of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it. And it is for them, the one going in the way; yea, fools shall not go astray.(9) No lion shall be there; and no violent beast shall go up on it; it shall not be found there. But redeemed ones shall walk there. (10) And the ransomed of Jehovah shall return and enter Zion, with singing and everlasting joy on their head; gladness and joy shall reach them; and sorrow and sighing shall flee.
Here the scripture reveals to us that God will make a way and a highway in the wilderness that will take His people to Zion.
The ‘wilderness’ here is symbolic of our souls in a state of spiritual barrenness: our wills still stubborn and rebellious not tempered with humility; our minds or understanding still darkened or not enlightened (Ephesians 1.17-18) with the light of revelation knowledge (2 Corinthians 4.6); our emotions not controlled by the fruit of the spirit: the love and compassion of God.
Recall that our being born-again is likened to the children of Israel being taken of Egypt; our baptism in water is likened to crossing the Red Sea; our baptism in the Holy Spirit is likened to the pillar of cloud and fire; our divine healing and prosperity is likened to God’s supernatural healing and provision for Israel in the wilderness:
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 (ESV): (1) For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, (2) and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, (3) and all ate the same spiritual food, (4) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. (5) Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
So after we get born-again our souls and bodies are still in a condition of a spiritual wilderness, just like even though the children of Israel had been delivered from Egypt but were still in the wilderness and had not yet entered the Promised Land.
In the New Testament the Promised Land is likened to the perfection and fullness of Christ symbolically referred to as Zion:
Psalms 50:2 (ESV): Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Now just as Israel roamed in circles in the wilderness for 40 years without entering the Promised Land, so the church has been roaming in the wilderness of ‘sense knowledge’ and spiritual immaturity for 2000 years without experiencing and manifesting the perfection and fullness of Christ.
So in this 3rd day God has made a way and a highway of perfecting the love of God by the blood (Hebrews 13.20-21), the Word (1 John 2.5) and the Spirit (1 John 4.12-13) using the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, that will take us from the ‘wilderness’ of sense knowledge and spiritual immaturity into the ‘promised land’ of the perfection and fullness of Christ.
Isaiah 43:19 (ESV): Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
1 Corinthians 12:31 (ESV): (31) But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV): Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
This is the ‘new thing’ which God is doing in this 3rd day with the first of the first fruits of its practitioners from ‘beyond the rivers of Ethiopia’ sub-Saharan or black Africa:
Zephaniah 3:10-17 (LITV): From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, My worshipers, the daughter of My scattered ones, shall bring My food offering. (11) In that day you shall not be ashamed from all your doings in which you have transgressed against Me. For then I will take away those who rejoice in your pride out of your midst, and you shall not again be proud any more in My holy mountain. (12) I will also leave a poor and weak people in your midst, and they shall trust in the name of Jehovah. (13) The remnant of Israel shall not do injustice, nor speak lies. And a deceitful tongue shall not be found in their mouth. For they shall feed and lie down, and no one shall frighten them. (14) Shout for joy, daughter of Zion; shout, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all the heart, daughter of Jerusalem! (15) Jehovah has turned off your judgments; He has turned away your enemy. Jehovah, the King of Israel, is in your midst; you shall not fear evil any more. (16) In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not! Zion, do not let your hands droop. (17) Jehovah your God is mighty in your midst; He will save. He will rejoice over you with joy; He is silent in His love. He rejoices over you with a joyful shout.
Song of Solomon 1:4-6 (LITV): (4) Draw me; we will run after You. The King has brought me into His chambers. We will be glad and rejoice in You; we will remember Your loves more than wine; the upright love You. (5) I am black, but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. (6) Do not look at me, that I am black, that the sun has looked on me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard I have not kept.
Isaiah 18:1-3 (LITV): Woe to the land of whirring of wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia; (2) which sends envoys by the sea, even in ships of papyrus on the face of the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a dreadful people from it and onwards; and a nation mighty and trampling down, whose land the rivers have divided! (3) All you inhabitants of the world and those living on the earth, as one lifts a banner on the peaks, you will see. And you will hear as the blowing of a ram’s horn.
Isaiah 18:7 (LITV): Then shall be brought in that time to Jehovah of Hosts a present from a tall and smooth people, and a terrifying people, from it and onward; a mighty and trampling nation whose land the rivers have divided, to the place of the name of Jehovah of Hosts: Mount Zion.
These scriptures speak prophetically of a spiritual nation (1 Peter 2.9), located geographically from ‘beyond the rivers of Ethiopia’ that is ‘tall and smooth’: symbolically speaking of full spiritual stature and perfection (Ephesians 4.13); bringing a spiritual offering to God in Mount Zion, the place of perfection, that will attract the universal attention of the whole world by a ‘banner’ or prophetic sign and ‘trumpet’ (Isaiah 58.1) or prophetic voice!
Observe that in Isaiah 35:8 there is a ‘way’ and a ‘highway’; in our article next week we will see the difference between them and how to cross from the ‘way’ into the ‘highway’.