The Ransomed Shall Return.
1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.
Here in Texas, we know it is spring when the beautiful white flowers of the Mexican Plum tree start showing all over the place. They are native and typically are the first thing to bloom out among the trees in the natural landscape. They are blooming at my house right now. So it is with the crocus in the Mideast landscape, as it signified renewal and the coming of the new growth of spring. ["The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus . . ."] I have spent the past week or so in Arizona, and the flowering plants against the harsh desert landscape are a notable contrast.
Similarly, Chapter 35 of Isaiah is a great contrast to Chapter 34, which portrayed Christ as the great warrior when he returns in the "day of the Lord." Chapter 34 was truly portraying "judgment day." However, Chapter 35 serves as an encouragement in the midst of this great judgment. Just as the crocus signifies warmer and more fruitful days on the near horizon, Israel, though being chastised for her great rebellion now, will have renewal and joy in the future. [". . . it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing . . They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God."]
The sin of our life, our own rebellion, has created a great desert, a spiritual wasteland. Yet, the work of Christ brings renewal to our own harsh reality, as a crocus blooming within the regenerated fertility of our heart. It allows us to see a beautiful sight, the "glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God."
Heard 'Round the House:
Due to some recent ministry opportunities, I have a number of new recipients of the Daily Journal. For the information of the newbies, the "Heard 'Round the House" portion of the DJ is where I note something funny or interesting that one of my seven children say or do [at least funny or interesting in my biased eyes]. I also post the picture that day of the kid that is noted. Today, I bring great news. We have been in the process of adopting our 8th child [5th adopted child to go with three biological children]. He is a three year old boy from China and we have been waiting for many months for the Chinese red tape [no pun intended] to work through the process. Well, we have finally been approved and hopefully we will have him home before too long. He is currently in a foster home in China [this is unusual and the result of a grant] and apparently is spoiled rotten. We will see how long that will last with seven siblings around . . .