A New Way in the Desert

from Lynda Lindsey

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43:25

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

As good and worthwhile as it is to examine the past, remembering and recounting how God delivered us out of desperate circumstances, our expectations that God will always work in the exact same way can blind us to a new revelation of God. God, consistent in character and holiness, is continually creative in the ways He choses to work in people’s lives. It should be enough for us that God is, that the great I Am is working on our behalf, strengthening us, helping and upholding us with His righteous, powerful right hand. 

Our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, knows our plight in the desert and wasteland places; He answers us with rivers of abundance to slake our thirst. God heals and restores us, smoothing out the rough places in our path; it’s only with hindsight we see that He carved out a totally new way for us. Hallelujah! God redeems us, summons us by name, and gives us a new name and a new life! He drapes His robe of righteousness around our shoulders. No cold, stone idol is our God, sitting on the sidelines; should we pass through rivers or walk through fire, He is with us.

Fear not; don’t be afraid. Forget the former things; don’t dwell on the past. God is doing a new thing! He is pouring out His Holy Spirit on us, blotting out our transgressions, remembering our sin no more! He who is King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty, the first and the last, from ancient of days, is doing a new thing! Just as Jerusalem would be renewed after her captivity, so shall we be renewed. It’s sure and certain! Our response? Isaiah has it right: Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise from the ends of the earth! Sing for joy from the mountaintops. Give glory to the Lord and proclaim His praise! Hallelujah!