The Joy of the Lord’s People
1The desert and the dry ground will be glad.
The dry places will be full of joy.
Flowers will grow there.
Like the first crocus in the spring,
2the desert will bloom with flowers.
It will be very glad and shout for joy.
The glorious beauty of Lebanon will be given to it.
It will be as beautiful as the rich lands
of Carmel and Sharon.
Everyone will see the glory of the Lord.
They will see the beauty of our God.

3Strengthen the hands of those who are weak.
Help those whose knees give way.
4Say to those whose hearts are afraid,
“Be strong and do not fear.
Your God will come.
He will pay your enemies back.
He will come to save you.”

5Then the eyes of those who are blind will be opened.
The ears of those who can’t hear will be unplugged.
6Those who can’t walk will leap like a deer.
And those who can’t speak will shout for joy.
Water will pour out in dry places.
Streams will flow in the desert.
7The burning sand will become a pool of water.
The thirsty ground will become bubbling springs.
In the places where wild dogs once lay down,
tall grass and papyrus will grow.

8A wide road will go through the land.
It will be called the Way of Holiness.
Only those who lead a holy life can use it.
“Unclean” and foolish people can’t walk on it.
9No lions will use it.
No hungry wild animals will be on it.
None of them will be there.
Only people who have been set free will walk on it.
10Those the Lord has saved will return to their land.
They will sing as they enter the city of Zion.
Joy that lasts forever will be
like beautiful crowns on their heads.
They will be filled with gladness and joy.
Sorrow and sighing will be gone.