“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (Isaiah 9:2).
After taking a trip away from home for an extended time, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night in my own bedroom and have no idea where I am. I usually swing my feet out of bed and stand there for a little bit, trying to figure out where I am. Finally I wander away from my bed and into the bathroom and turn on a light. During that time before I turn on the light, there is usually a period of confusion, fear and disorientation. I do not like this time in the darkness. I am very thankful for the ability to turn on a light!
In much the same way, mankind was groping about in darkness searching for some answers to the difficult questions of life, death and eternal life. Israel had the responsibility in the plan of God to carry the light of the true God to the world that was filled with the worship of many gods. They failed in that responsibility, and instead had turned to the worship of idols as well. God allowed them to become captives of the very nations they were to be influencing, but that had influenced them. Much of our Old Testament is the words that came from God during this captivity period. It became so bad that there was a period of 400 years of silence between the prophecy of Malachi and the Gospel of Matthew.
The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled when Jesus Christ came into the world. A little further in to this same chapter, the prophecy said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Light came into the world. This Light helps to guide us through the periods of disorientation and confusion that come as a result of a time of darkness. This Light is Jesus Christ.
Just as the Olympic torch is passed from one to another until arriving in the arena of the host country, we have been given the Light to pass along to those who live in darkness in our time. Don’t let the Light dim! Don’t drop the baton of hope found in Jesus Christ alone! Don’t give up on standing strong for Jesus Christ. Our world needs the Light!