Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower -
bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color. Mountain glories of Lebanon - a gift. Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon - gifts. God's resplendent glory, fully on display. God awesome, God majestic.
Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls, "Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He's on his way! He'll save you!"
Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears unstopped,
Lame men and women will leap like deer, the voiceless break into song. Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert.
Hot sands will become a cool oasis, thirsty ground a splashing fountain. Even lowly jackals will have water to drink, and barren grasslands flourish richly.
There will be a highway called the Holy Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It's for God's people exclusively - impossible to get lost on this road. Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road, no dangerous wild animals - Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening. Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They'll sing as they make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads, Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)