Isaiah 9:2 “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.”
It is not easy to find your way in the dark. There are times in our country home when the electricity goes out. When it happens at night we usually fumble around looking for the oil lamps and matches. When we finally get one lit, it is easier to function until the electric company can restore our power. Without light there is often not much to do but to sit in the darkness and wait.
The Bible talks about people who live in darkness. It is not speaking about a lack of sunlight or of electricity. This darkness is a spiritual darkness. From the day that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, man’s relationship with God has been broken. As people have chosen to live apart from God and His laws, the darkness has grown darker and darker. Today, after centuries of disobedience, our culture is fumbling around in blindness wondering why peoples’ lives are falling apart. They need a light to illuminate the truth.
The prophecy of Isaiah 9:2 promised that a great light would shine in the darkness. I find it interesting that throughout the Christmas story “light” is prevalent. When the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was announced to the shepherds, they were encamped in a dark field watching their sheep. Suddenly out of the darkness a bright light appeared. An Angel of the Lord announced the good news of the Savior’s birth. Soon the sky was filled with more light and a host of other angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men.” These humble shepherds who saw the light believed the angel’s message and went to Bethlehem to find the baby.
Hundreds of miles away there were some wise men. These Magi were very educated and had probably learned about the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus’ birth from the teachings of the ancient prophet, Daniel (Thank you, Pastor Craig, for this insight yesterday morning!). They saw a bright star in the dark night sky and recognized it as a sign from God. Remembering the prophecies of a King Who was to be born, they headed to Jerusalem to seek this King of the Jews. The light of the star led them to the house where the young Savior and His family were staying. When they found Him, they worshiped.
Spiritual darkness plagued the land, but God made sure that people of all different backgrounds had opportunity to see the light when it came. The Magi, who were well-educated and trained, saw the star and understood the meaning because of their knowledge. They chose to believe and act upon that belief. The shepherds, who were not educated, also saw a light. God sent them a choir of angels to help them understand since they did not have the same resources as the Magi. They also chose to believe and travel to Bethlehem in search of the baby Jesus.
Though our world today is blanketed in deep spiritual darkness, there is still a light shining. There will be no excuse for any who refuse to believe. God has given us His word, the Bible. He shines the light of His truth upon us and makes it clear for all – rich or poor, educated or uneducated, man or woman, boy or girl. The difference is whether or not we choose to believe and follow this light.
It is a very dark night when the electricity is out – but God has provided a light so we can find our way home. This light is Jesus Christ. Will you follow Him or ignore Him?