Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Today’s Topic: The Light Is On
Today’s Text: Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
Ted Koppel, in a speech to the International Radio and Television Society, said this:
What is largely missing in American life today is a sense of context, of saying or doing anything that is intended or even expected to live beyond the moment. There is no culture in the world that is so obsessed as ours with immediacy. In our journalism, the trivial displaces the momentous because we tend to measure the importance of events by how recently they happened. We have become so obsessed with facts that we have lost all touch with truth.
Guilty. In varying degrees we all are. We have succumbed to the Satanic deception that there is no bigger picture. We cannot see that we are playing bit parts in an eternal plan of an Almighty God. Instead, we see only the drama of our current situation. We would be greatly blessed to resolve that.
The prophecies concerning Jesus in the Bible proclaim the bigger picture. Today’s prophecy of the coming Messiah must be read and understood in the context of the cultural era in which it was given by God. Let’s carefully read the context. It starts in the previous chapter where Isaiah is declaring his trust in the God of the bigger picture.
I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him. Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion. When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
What a picture of the consequences waiting for people that live for the immediate. Maybe it’s already happened where you live. Distress. Anger. Despair. Hopelessness. The pursuit of the immediate with no faith in the truth of a bigger picture leaves us wondering and wandering.
But read on as chapter nine begins.
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
I love that word nevertheless. It proclaims hope. True hope. What do I mean by that? Well, true hope does not depend upon my activity. Real hope does not consider the failure of my past but the grace of my God. It is incredible to see in this passage that there are no requirements placed upon people for the earning of their freedom. The burden of self-fulfillment and self-accomplishment is removed by God’s free gift. The darkness of despair in the shadow of death is dispelled by the Light of the Lord’s love in Jesus.
When mankind was incapable of change, at just the right time in history (Galatians 4:4), God sent to us a gift we did not deserve and could never afford. His love for us conquered our rebellion against Him when Jesus came to save us from the sin that had overwhelmed us.
That’s incredible! I have found the Light! Now I can see the bigger picture, and it has brought me peace.