It’s a new year. A perfect time for a new year. As I look at my efforts with MuddyShoes, I have come to realize the past several months have been … well … inconsistent.
So I start a new year. I start a new commitment. I place a fresh look at my journey and the muddy shoes along the way. And since I am on the topic of my journey, I look at the word “highway” in Isaiah …
In Isaiah 35, there is a one time used word – hapax legomena (Once Spoken). The word – Highway. The text is often called the Highway to Holiness passage.
And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even fools can not wander on to it
Highway. WHO CAN USE IT?. The word is associated with a road that is set, raised and easy to travel. Some connect it to the raised road in certain cities that connect the temple to the palace … and only the royal entourage could traverse it. In this text, and specifically looking at the next two verses, we see it is the redeemed and the ransomed who can step upon it. The price to travel the road has been paid for – and we who have received the gift of God’s grace – can enter without fear and into its safety.
Highway. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO TRAVEL ON IT? To this question, there are three answers. The first is those on the road walk in safety. No wild animals, no thieves, no dangers. There is a safety on the highway. And in our journey, we need to know God’s Word is clear – nothing can separate us from the love of God – Nothing.
The second that answer is to travel on this road is to travel in holiness. There is a standard to which the pilgrims must live by. There is no wavering to the right – no slippage to the left. It’s like a race car video game that the cars can go fast but the sides of the track have bumpers that bounce you back on to the track. God’s standard is non-negotiable.
Now we mess up. We try to do our own thing. But God’s love, God’s Spirit, will bring conviction – not condemnation. How Word is a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path. It shows us the way of the Highway. SO to travel on His road is to travel in Holiness.
It’s a ‘now and will be’ type of holiness. We are already recipients of His holiness, provided by the actions of our Savior. But it is also a process of sanctification where God is chiseling away everything that doesn’t conform to the image of the Son (Romans 8).
And the third answer – it’s a time of rejoicing, joyous and gladness. And if you realize your are redeemed, ransomed and safe … well, one better rejoice. But even more, to know you are the presence of the Living God who loves you – wohoo x1000!
Highway. Where is it headed? Zion, the holy city – the very dwelling of God. To worship.
TODAY’S TAKEAWAY … What road are you on? Where are you headed? How are you living? Make 2023 a walking on the Highway of Holiness a priority.