Large Print

Blooming Deserts

Today's Devotional

Read: Isaiah 35:1-7 | Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 7-9; John 1:1-28

The desert will bloom with flowers. Isaiah 35:2 nirv

A century ago, lush forest covered roughly 40 percent of Ethiopia, but today it’s around 4 percent. Clearing acreage for crops while failing to protect the trees has led to an ecological crisis. The vast majority of the remaining small patches of green are protected by churches. For centuries, local Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido churches have nurtured these oases in the midst of the barren desert. If you look at aerial images, you see verdant islands surrounded by brown sand. Church leaders insist that watching over the trees is part of their obedience to God as stewards of His creation.

The prophet Isaiah wrote to Israel, a people who lived in an arid land where bare desert and brutal droughts threatened. And Isaiah described the future God intended, where “the desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom” (Isaiah 35:1). God intends to heal His people, but He intends to heal the earth too. He’ll “create new heavens and a new earth” (65:17). In God’s renewed world, “the desert will bloom with flowers” (35:2 nirv).

God’s care for creation—including people—motivates us to care for it too. We can live in sync with His ultimate plan for a healed and whole world—being caretakers of what He’s made. We can join God in making all kinds of deserts bloom with life and beauty.

Where do you see some part of creation barren or suffering? How will you be part of seeing deserts bloom?

Creator God, please show me how to help heal and restore what’s broken in the world.

Click to discover God’s creative purpose for nature and a nation.


To the Israelites, the “day of Lord” was the day when God would judge all the foreign nations who are Israel’s enemies (Isaiah 13; Jeremiah 46; Ezekiel 30; Joel 3:1-16). At that time, God would pour out His blessings on Israel as His covenant nation (Isaiah 61; Joel 2:18-32; 3:17-21). Isaiah 35:4 encapsulates this twin mindset: “Your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you” (nlt). Prophesying about God’s judgment against the nations, the prophet warned, “The Lord is angry with all nations . . . . He will totally destroy them” (34:2). Then Isaiah assured God’s people about the glories that would await them when He comes to rescue and restore them (35:3-7). Jesus referred to verses 5-6 when he confirmed His messianic identity to encourage a disheartened John the Baptist in prison (Luke 7:18-23).

By |2024-05-09T02:33:11-04:00May 9th, 2024|
Go to Top