Isaiah 35:1–10 (NKJV)
35 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
The excellency of our God.
3 Strengthen the weak hands,
And make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”
The characterization of Judah as a desert and wasteland definitely refers to the destroyed nation after military defeat. God, here, promised grace and mercy to the nation to rebuild and seek God for restoration. The weak will be made strong again. The desert will rejoice.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.
7 The parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water;
In the habitation of jackals, where each lay,
There shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
Those who are blind will see, the deaf will hear. Waters will burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. Healing and restoration will come.
8 A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it;
It shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk there,
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Finally, God promises a way to holiness. This involves repentance and forgiveness for a nation and for people individually. There is safety from holiness, joy, singing, and gladness are found in holiness. Seek God through confession and repentance, follow the highway to holiness, for even the simple can make it to their destination. When you do these things, sorrow will flee. Joy will return!