The Answer to Our Darkness
They will look toward the earth and see only distress, darkness, and the gloom of affliction, and they will be driven into thick darkness.
Although Isaiah describes a time of darkness that happened over 2,000 years ago, the same may be said of our current day. Indeed, we live in a time of great darkness with a failing economy, rapidly rising crime rate, and extensive government corruption. If you watch the news at all, you may find yourself looking for some glimmer of hope for this dark world. Thankfully, Scripture does not end with Isaiah 8. The next chapter gives a prophetic word of God’s answer to such great darkness.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. The people have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. For You have shattered their burdensome yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as You did on the day of Midian. For the trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over His kingdom to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this.
God had an answer for the darkness. He would send a light in the form of a Son that would bring justice and righteousness to a sin-filled world. This Son would reign on the throne of David, bringing peace and prosperity that would never end. Jesus is still the answer to our darkness, but we must consider His first coming in order to fully understand our current darkness and how to trust Him for the answers we need.
They [shepherds] hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough [manger].
God’s provision was first sent as a baby. How could a newborn baby solve the massive problems of a dark and sinister world? The baby would have to grow, develop, and mature to adulthood, but the answers for this dark world lay inside Him. Consider these facts:
It would still be 30 years before He would ever perform His first miracle, teach, or begin His earthly ministry.
It would still be 33 years before He would become our sacrifice on the cross and rise from the dead as an atonement for sin.
It would still be more than 2,022 years before He would come again and reign over this world with justice and righteousness. This is a promise we have yet to see.
Yet, Jesus is still our answer. So, how do we navigate this dark world in which we live when our circumstances remain the same and still have hope? Look to the shepherds’ response when they first found the answer lying in the manger.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.
The correct response to God’s revelation is always worship! Our circumstances may not change immediately, but worship is always appropriate. We may not understand how His provision will work, but He is worthy of our worship. A stance of worship demonstrates our faith in Him, and God responds to faith. He is able to work through and for a heart that trusts Him. His provision may need to develop before we see a permanent change in our circumstances, but we can trust His work to grow in that area as we release our faith to Him. He works silently, secretly, and consistently in the dark places of our lives until we can fully see the revelation of His Son. That is the hope of Christmas!
May the great hope of Christmas shine brightly in your darkness today as you worship Him.
Have a blessed day!