December 4, 2016

Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

This was first written in the context of Israel, but it applies to all mankind. Light is closely connected to hope. We speak of “the light at the end of the tunnel” (and make jokes about it turning out to be an oncoming train) when we talk about hope in difficult situations. All mankind lives under the shadow of death, courtesy of Adam and Eve. The fear of death is probably the most universal of all fears. At the time Isaiah spoke/wrote this he probably had only the vaguest idea of Jesus’ victory over death, if he had any inkling of it at all. However, he did have a clear revelation that God was going to send the Messiah, and that was glorious enough. It is interesting to me how almost invariably the prophets of the Old Testament spoke/wrote more than they knew; their words had implications far beyond what they could imagine. Isaiah is a prime example of this. He wrote so much about the Messiah that some people have called his book “The Gospel of Isaiah,” yet he himself did not see any of it in the flesh, and tradition tells us he died by being sawed in two. There is no question he received a glorious reward in heaven! The words he was faithful to record have given hope and light and life to countless people down through the centuries, even when their surroundings seemed completely dark.

This verse is marvelously appropriate to us in our current situation. Just a few hours after I wrote yesterday’s post, we attended a local Gideon’s International luncheon. (They give one every year to thank area pastors for their cooperation and give a report of their activities to the pastors.) I asked permission to share a prayer request, and told the group about the situation with the land next to the church here. I had no expectation that they would do anything but pray, and I was touched when the MC immediately asked one of the pastors to pray for our situation right there on the spot. Late yesterday afternoon one of the Gideons with whom we are particularly friendly came by to ask how much money we had on hand, and said that he and his wife were prepared to make up the difference. It hadn’t crossed my mind how wealthy they might be, or that anyone at the luncheon would have the funds available to do such a thing. To say that we were blown away is an understatement! We were indeed walking in darkness, but we had chosen to fix our eyes on the light of Christ, and He answered beyond our dreams. I am certainly looking forward to contacting the landowner, since he laughed when I told him over the phone that nothing was impossible for God.

Father, You have again demonstrated that You are God. This isn’t the kind of miracle I have been thinking about when I have prayed for miracles to confirm the Word that You speak through me, but it is going to impact a lot of people anyway. I do pray that every detail may fall into place exactly as You intend, so that You may receive all the glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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