The Glory of Israel
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.Isaiah 60:1-3
Oftentimes when we look at the world around us, we see darkness. Whether it’s wars, death, plague, destruction on a global scale, or even just those who do dark deeds in our community. It’s easy to look at what goes on in our world and despair or even question what God has for us in our circumstances. It’s difficult to parse out God’s will when everything in the world seems to be crumbling around us.
Take that feeling of despair and multiply it. This is what Israel was feeling in the time of the prophets. Israel was split into two different nations: Judah to the South and Israel to the North. Both were in a tense peace with empires that would eventually take them into captivity. During that captivity, the people of Judah were taken by the Babylonian Empire, and Israel was destroyed and sacked by the Assyrian Empire. This was a time of utter darkness in the time of the Israelites.
However, God through the prophet Isaiah offers a promise of light. A time when Israel would be known throughout the globe and through them, the world would be drawn to God. This finds its fulfillment in Christ. He came through Israel and by his death, burial, and resurrection, the world was brought into the true Israel as Paul tells us in Romans 11. In so doing, God brought the nations to the light of Israel found in Christ.
We too may be a part of the true Israel and be a part of the light of this world. By placing our faith in Christ, the darkness of this world will no longer have a hold on us. Rather, Christ brings us into a relationship with God through His grace and love. The light of Christ will always outshine the darkness of the world and those in Him are the outpouring of His light.
This week, be the light of Christ to those around you for it is through you that the light will be made known to the nations.