The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.…
I. THE WORLD WITHOUT THE GOSPEL IS A WILDERNESS, a "desert," a "solitary place." What though the bright promise of the spring, the warm glow of summer, the rich maturity of autumn, the quiet rest of winter, are full of beauty! What though Nature's broad plains are watered by noble rivers, though her mountains rise with majesty and grandeur, though her valleys "stand so thick with corn that they laugh and sing," and though a teeming population give animation to every habitable spot; yet, to the spiritual eye and apart from the Gospel, all is but a desert and a solitary place! And if it be so in our own fair land, which is the glory of all lands, what of the heathen nations? Men have broken loose from God. Sin has overspread the world. There is nothing to sustain the Divine life, nothing to insure spiritual health, nothing to promote the soul's eternal welfare.
II. WHAT, THEN, IS THE CHANGE WHICH THE GOSPEL PRODUCES? It is the same in one and all when it comes with "demonstration of the Spirit and of power." All things become new. The "fruits of the Spirit" spring up, the solitary place is made glad, the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose. Conclusion —
1. Has my heart been made glad by the Gospel?
2. What am I doing to make the hearts of others glad? These are questions which demand prompt answers, because —
3. The time is short.
(Josiah Batsman, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.