Post #10, July 31, 2018
The evangelical prophet, Isaiah, presents a vivid picture of God. Unlike King Ahaz, who refused to trust in God, Isaiah had surrendered himself to the love of God demonstrated in “God with us.” Therefore, he lived his calling and obeyed the LORD Almighty.
Isaiah knew that somehow, sometime, God would carry out a plan of salvation that would change people’s hearts and lives from rebellion against God to joyful submission and obedience to him. Meanwhile, he encouraged the people who already believed. This is Immanuel’s land and we can trust him.
“… there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish….the people
who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a
land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” (Isaiah 9:1a-2.)
These words lightened my heart: I didn’t have to walk in darkness anymore! As a child, the light had shined in my soul when Jesus told me he wanted to be personal to me. As an adult, it dimmed for a time, during my years of turmoil, but now it began to shine brightly again.
God is the light (1John.1:5b). If a person shuts out God from his or her life, it’s like going into a dark cellar and shutting the door. The person will stumble around in the darkness. The nation of Israel had descended into darkness because of unbelief. “They have no light of dawn,” says Isaiah (8:20b).
It was when I refused to believe in God’s great love that the light dimmed for me. I looked at circumstances and doubted God cared about my happiness. I thought he had abandoned me. Looking at circumstances alone can drag us into the darkness of depression and despair. Yet, God does care about our happiness. These seven scriptures all say so (all from NIV):
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares fhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW9xCwBD0hY&list=RDIW9xCwBD0hY&index=1or you,” (I Pet.5:7).
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart,” (Ps.37:4).
Jesus said, “the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God,” (John 16:27).
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand,” (Ps.16:11).
“But it was because the Lord loved you…that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery…” (Deut. 7:8).
“But God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Rom. 5:8.)
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1John. 3:1a).
Verses like these were like a healing balm to me. I was astounded at the mercy of God conveyed in Isaiah. Light dawns in the darkness as God stretches out his hand in discipline and mercy.
Isaiah predicted that a prince of peace would be born who would bring in a righteous kingdom. “There will be no gloom for her who was in anguish,” (Isaiah 9:1–2, RSV). Jesus defeated the author of gloom on the cross and broke the chains that bind his people. This was wonderful news for me, after feeling trapped for so long in my guilt and shame and the consequences of my sin.
Thank you, holy, all-powerful God, for your presence. What an awesome truth that you call us into fellowship with yourself in order to shower your blessings upon us! Thank you that your light has dawned on us so we can know you intimately. Thank you for adopting us as your children through Jesus Christ. We pray for all who read these pages that your light will dawn in their hearts also, so they can know you and the power of your resurrection. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
To Be Continued
Here’s a beautiful video about the Lord’s light shining on us:
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