Today’s passage means a lot to me for several different reasons. The main reason is that I really feel that I was someone who used to contradict God’s word. I had heard and understood the gospel as a child and a young man, but I was not able or willing to accept that God’s instructions and teachings were the only source of light that is eternal and true. My life before my conversion was dark. I really felt as if I was stumbling around in the dark. Another reason is the promise that the time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. This promise has been a comfort to me since I was a frightened young boy at boarding school. In fact, it meant the world to me then and has proved true, reliable and a comfort throughout my life. Another reason is the light itself. The people who walk in darkness don’t just see the light, they see a great light. They will see Jesus – the true light of the world! It’s not just any old light in the darkness, it is the great light which banishes the darkness for ever, along with all the fear and loneliness and longing.
Isaiah 8:20-9:2 NLT
Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.
Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
Today’s goal is to spend some time in prayer giving thanks for the light of eternal salvation that shines from Jesus. I can’t say what really happened when I saw the light and knew I was converted, but I can say that over many years before that moment, I had been prepared for it because I had heard the word of God all my life. If I can play a part in enabling people to get to know God’s instructions and teachings, then perhaps, given enough time and preparation, some of them might one day, feel a great light shining into their lives and be changed forever by the power of the great light of Jesus.
Isaiah 8:1-9:21, 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, Psalms 55:1-23, Proverbs 23:4-5