I have just a few comments about Isaiah 35, which is a promise about the great blessings in store for those in the Lord’s Book of Life mentioned in the previous chapter.
The first observation I have is that the language concerning the blessings of the Lord in this chapter is different compared to what I’ve read in recent chapters. For instance in chapter 32, the Savior’s reign was described, among other things, “as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land”. Now in chapter 35, it is the whole desert that is transformed, such that those who are in it “shall see the glory of the Lord”. This implies a global transfiguration, whereas the former implies a personal change. A world-wide change would point to the millennial reign of Christ. Therefore, my impression is that chapter 32 refers to the state of the righteous before the coming of the Lord and Chapter 35 refers to after the coming, describing the society of that glorious age. (One should note, however, that the conditions in Zion before the coming of the Lord will be similar the conditions in the world after His coming.)
The other passage that caught my attention was verse 8, because it is a little humorous:
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.
I take this as Isaiah saying that the state of the world will eventually be so righteous that the way of the Lord will be compared to a highway. It will be a highway that is so obvious and so well protected that even idiots can’t get lost! It is interesting to me to contemplate such a society- a society with no media to glamorize evil, or to stir up lust and greed. A society where there is abundance shared by all, with no competition to pit us against our neighbor. A society where there is time and emphasis on enjoying those things which are lovely and praiseworthy. A society where everyone knows and love the Lord, and as a result, feel no desire to seek happiness in forbidden paths.
Faithful thoughts of a peaceful, righteous society are enough to give strength to weak hands and feeble knees. Not only is such a society possible, it is prophesied and will surely happen as the last days unfold. If we truly believe this, it changes the way we look at the world and the way we look at other people. As we draw nearer to Jesus Christ, we have all the more reason to be optimistic, cheerful, and kind. This is a theme that Isaiah brings up again and again. Many people do not believe it, but it is true.