The Wilderness Made Glad
Isaiah 35:1-10
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.…

I. A DESERT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS BARREN AND UNCIVILISED. So, in general, are heathen countries. But, instead of unfruitfulness and barbarism, Christianity would introduce culture, civilisation, and everything which, in connection with these, tends to promote the substantial comforts of life. The Bible and the plough go together.

II. A WILDERNESS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A PLACE OF DREARY SOLITUDE. But the Gospel would introduce the endearments of society; or, at all events, sweeten solitude itself. Among even the more numerous tribes of savages, social enjoyment is but small. They have, indeed, their feasts; but these are seasons of diabolical, rather than of human mirth. Their habitual character, undoubtedly, is retiredness, melancholy, and taciturnity. On the other hand, true religion gives birth to those feelings which prompt man with confidence to seek man; while, at the same time, it enlarges the mind, and furnishes many rational and enlivening topics on which men delight to speak out of the abundance of the heart.


IV. When we hear of a wilderness we think of A PLACE OF COMFORTLESS SORROW. The heathen world contains not within itself the means of soothing the sad distress with which it is filled. But such a wilderness would be gladdened by the Gospel, which would bring home to the afflicted and dying "the peace of God which passeth all understanding."

V. LIKE A WILDERNESS, THE HEATHEN WORLD IS A PLACE OF AWFUL DANGER. "I was in perils," said the apostle Paul, "in the wilderness" (2 Corinthians 11:26). "Where there, is no vision the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18). Improvement —

1. Let us improve the subject as furnishing ourselves with ground of gratitude and admonition. How thankful ought we to be when we contrast our own happy situation with the state of those who "sit in darkness, and in the region and shadow of death"!

2. It becomes us to consider whether we have personally embraced the Gospel.

3. Let us improve the subject in reference to the heathen.

4. According to God's wise determination human instruments are necessary (Romans 10:14, 15).

5. The means of support must be furnished.

6. Already, He who is to be crowned Lord of all has gained some of His most signal triumphs in modern times, through this instrumentality.

(James Foote, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

WEB: The wilderness and the dry land will be glad. The desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose.

The Transformative Field and Force of the Gospel
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