8. And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious get up on it;
they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there,
10. and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Reflection by Darlene Wagner
The Way of Holiness is a way of peace, safety, and joy. Perhaps, this highway encompass the Christian notion of Heaven. Or could Isaiah be speaking of a time beyond both earthly life and afterlife? In the distant future, violence and predatory behavior have passed away. Earlier, in Isaiah chapter 11, verses 6 through 9, predatory animals lose their instinct to harm, “The wolf will live with the lamb”. Hence, predatory creatures themselves do not go extinct, only their aggressive behaviors go extinct. What about humankind? Isaiah says “But only the redeemed will walk there.” Who are the redeemed? They are the ransomed of the Lord, the previously lost people, who have been returned to the Way. There is hope for those of us who feel unclean and foolish; Someday, people who have struggled in lostness will travel safely on the Way of Holiness.
I yearn for your Light’s sustenance, Dear Holy One!
From earthly toils and fears I look ahead to your blessed world.
Yet I must stay to share your good things with both friends and strangers,
That they may hope as I do for your blessed world.