There [in the blossoming desert land] the Lord will display his glory,
the splendour of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”
And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
and unplug the ears of the deaf.
a prophet exits the dry and unwelcoming land to bring news of its direct opposite.
what makes the desert blossom? what changes the gruff and unforgiving land into a welcoming garden?
it is the transforming experience of the presence of the living god – a moment of truth and life itself.
parallels between dry, parched, unwelcome, desert, deserted wasteland and people: tired hands, weak knees, fearful hearts, blindness, inability to hear, inability to move.
the prophet assures the people that god takes spiritual dryness personally – and is sure coming to fight it.
there hypothetically are two kinds of desert periods in life: a) the enemy of god period and b) the pre-prophetic period.
the enemy of god desert period (metaphorically) has all the things in place: the soil, the sun, the seeds, the river-beds, the stones, whatever. but it lacks water and consequently is inhabited only by the hardiest life-forms.
that kind of desert can only pass the water on, unable to assimilate it and allow itself to blossom.
then the presence of god is manifest in it, the soil softened, the stones moved – and it gains life and becomes life.
the (metaphorically) pre-prophetic period looks just like the one above, but is essentially different. here desrt time is a season, not the state.
because Carmel and Lebanon have already known god, they know he will sort things out, and can tell of this to those that have almost lost hope.
the desert period in a prophet’s life destroys the things that impede the vision of god, and because it is a season, and thus not forever, prepare the soul for a new rebirth and new life.
coming out of the desert, the prophetic message is this – god is coming to destroy your enemies, prepare a place for him.
unless this message is relayed, hope is not sustained.
the christian life, and faith, and love are that prophetic message to the deserted and desert wilderness. you also have hope. because i, now follower of Christ, was where you were, and Christ picked me up, healed me, made me see and hear, and changed me from something lifeless into someone full of life.