Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Light has Shined - June 9th, 2011

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; They rejoice before you according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil."
Isaiah 9:2-3

History and Context:
For a short history on the book of Isaiah you can refer to my post from yesterday Fear of Man. As mentioned in that post, Isaiah is known as the Old Testament prophet with the most Messianic prophecies. This passage comes out of one of those prophecies. In fact in Isaiah 9:6 we have one of the most commonly quoted during Christmas - "For unto us a child is born ..." This means that when taken in context this light is the same light that John talked about in John 1:7-9. "The true light which gives light to every man coming into the world."

The Text:
 This text is of course speaking about the people of Israel. How they have walked in darkness but the light (the Messiah) is coming. The word Messiah, in ancient Hebrew, simply meant Deliverer. So when the prophets prophesied a Messiah coming they were prophesying someone that would come and deliver them from their oppressors. We see throughout the Gospels that there was some misunderstanding of what these prophecies meant exactly. They were expecting a physical deliverer, but God sent them a, much more needed, spiritual Deliverer in Himself. He "multiplied the nation [Israel = God's people] and increased it's joy" without directly delivering them from their physical oppressors, the Romans.

The Challenge:
Do you feel like you're in the shadow of death? Do you feel like you are walking in darkness? King David said "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me..." (Psalm 23) If you feel you are in the 'shadow of death' then it means you need to recognize Christ. If you feel you are surrounded by darkness then you must recognize the light. Sometimes it seems that preachers continually preach about how dark our nation is. But has the Light come? Yes! The Light has come and He is still here, in each one of us! We just need to recognize Him, and begin to follow Him. We Christians have seen a great light! We have seen the Savior! We have seen our Lord! It's time to stop walking in darkness and walk in the light. Feel free to share how you saw the light of Christ in your day today.

The Prayer:
Lord, I thank you that you have sent us this 'great light'. This light that has allowed to no longer walk in darkness. Help us to recognize you in our day today. Help us to see your light in our lives and to follow that light. Help us to also share that light with those around us. Thank you Lord for going with us and for hearing our prayers. Amen!

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