Shining a light in the darkness


Isaiah 60:1-9; Matt 2:1-12

Arise, shine, your light has come. The glory of the Lord is risen on who?The nation of Israel specifically.

The situation is depicted as darkness covering the whole earth, but as the glory of the Lord appears over Israel, great things will begin to happen.

Nations and kings will be drawn to Israel; families and wealth will gather; even black skinned people from Africa and Arabic people (Kedar) will come bearing gifts of gold, incense and flocks of animals. Does this remind you of Christmas? According to Isaiah they will come to rebuild the wall of the ruined city of Jerusalem.

Why will these diverse people flock to Israel? To honour God of course.

But what is the time frame? Has this prophecy already been fulfilled? The answer is “yes”, “yes” and “maybe”. In the first instance, the following passage goes on to talk about rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem which took place about 200 years after Isaiah wrote this prophecy. From this we learn that Isaiah is an accurate prophet.

In the second place, we read in Matt 2 that the light of a star led a group of “Magi”, possibly Persian priests or astronomers to search for and find Jesus, the light of the world, the Glory of the Lord.

A huge amount, in fact almost everything that happens to the nation of Israel has a future implication for God’s people in perpetuity, but as a spiritual imperative rather that the physical one.

So in the third instance, there will be a time when all the earth will gather to honour God. At that time, when God shines his light (Jesus is the light of the world), we are called to arise and shine. There has never been a better time, with modern communications and mass migrations of peoples from all around the world, for Christians to arise and shine! Our prayer to God in the words of Psalm 94 is “Shine forth!”, and our response is to “Arise and shine”.