Friday, December 4, 2009

His Coming Brings Light

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
On them has light shined.
(Isaiah 9:2 ESV)
Isaiah 9 is a messianic prophecy. That is, it foretells the coming of Messiah into the world. Verse 1 speaks of the judgment the northern tribes of Israel were about to experience because of their rebellion against God. But there was also a promise of a time of restoration:
But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. (ESV)
Zebulun was in lower portion of Galilee and Naphtali in the upper. But both were overshadowed, oppressed by the Syrians and Phoenicians and corrupted by their ways. The “way of the sea” was the region of the Sea of Galilee. “Galilee” comes from a Hebrew word that means “circle.” These tribes were surrounded, encircled by the nations in upper Galilee.

However, the light of God would once again break through the darkness and shine brightly in this region. After a long night, a new dawn would come.

Matthew finds this new dawn in the ministry of Jesus. However, it was not just the dawning of Jesus’ ministry, but the kingdom of God arising in the earth, now present in the person of the King.
Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region
    and shadow of death
Light has dawned.
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:12-17)
Years before, an old man named Simeon had been watching for its coming, for he had received a promise from God that he would see it in his lifetime. On the day Mary and Joseph brought their infant Child for dedication in the Temple, the Spirit of God led Simeon in also. When he saw Jesus, he took Him up in his arms and praised God:
Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
(Luke 2:29-32)
The coming of King Jesus the Messiah into the world brings a light that reveals the glory of God to all the nations of the earth.

Let Earth Receive Her King
Let Earth Receive Her King
Advent, Christmas and the Kingdom of God
by Jeff Doles

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Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.

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