Light in the darkness

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Chapter 8 finishes with a sobering prophecy, all that the people will see if they look away from God is gloom and darkness.  Without God, all there is for us is hopelessness.

Read Isaiah 9

Whilst the present situation seemed pretty hopeless and Israel were about to face judgement, shame and destruction, Isaiah looks ahead to the future and sees hope.   Though the people were now living in darkness a great light would shine offering hope.  This would be the cause of great celebration, comparable to those moments in the past when God had delivered the people from danger and blessed them with victory and prosperity. Although the people would be oppressed, exiled and enslaved, liberation and the total defeat of enemies was coming (v1-5).

The source of this hope was a son, born as king.  Notice that this points us beyond any children of the prophet, he will be an heir of David. Not only that, this is not any old descendant, there is something unique about him.  Not only will he be the prince or commander who brings peace, not only will he be loving and wise, a “wonderful counsellor” but he will be known as “The Mighty God” and “The Everlasting Father.”  God himself was coming to dwell with and reign over his people as their true king. Unlike the ungodly and corrupt kings that the people have experienced, this king will bring justice and righteousness. Unlike mortal rulers, his reign will be permanent and eternal (v6-7).

All of this is still to come in the future though.  In the meantime, there first must be terrible judgement. Wickedness is destructive like fire and so God must act to oppose and destroy wickedness.  God is faithful and unchanging and the applies to his justice as well as to his mercy (v8-21).


Meditate on these words

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;”

  1. In what ways was your life characterised by darkness before you met Christ?
  2. What does it mean for you to have the light of Christ shining on you?
  3. In what ways can your community be described as “walking in darkness”?
  4. What does it mean for your church to bring light to your community?

Lord God, thank you that Christ brings light and life. Help us to be salt and light in our neighbourhood.

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