Sunday, I shared from Isaiah 9:1-7. It begins by discussing people in darkness seeing a great light and finishes by predicting that the light is the Messiah.
On a recent trip to Norway, we went far enough north that it did not get dark at night. Between 2 AM and 4 AM, it would feel like dusk at home, but there was never complete darkness. The lack of darkness made sleeping difficult for me, even with blackout curtains. The darkness of night provides us with certain rhythms for rest and work.
This passage talks about spiritual darkness and some of its challenges. It also describes some things that light brings to people who walk in darkness. Here are my five observations about light and dark from this passage.
Spiritual Darkness Brings Despair
Spiritual darkness is different than the darkness of night. Where night may bring rhythms of rest, spiritual darkness brings oppression and despair. Spiritual darkness brings an overwhelming heaviness that can manifest itself in many ways. Over time, spiritual darkness will lead to desperation that can lead us to freedom or further depths of darkness.
Rules Do Not Eradicate Darkness
The Old Testament is a picture of the limitations of rules and laws. It never completed the picture. There was always another sacrifice to make. In the New Testament, the young man tells Jesus that he has kept all the rules, and Jesus then asks him to do something else. Rules offer guidance and direction. They are suitable for creating boundaries. But some people keep all the rules but never follow Jesus and still walk in darkness.
Light Dispels Darkness
Martin Luther King famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” The smallest amount of light can change the darkest of situations. On my trip to Norway, the sliver of light around the curtain lit up the entire room. A small candle in a large room can transform your ability to see. We carry light wherever we go, yet doubt we can make a difference in the world. The truth is even the smallest light makes a massive difference in dark places.
Light Brings Freedom
Light allows you to navigate places you were hesitant or afraid to move. When you are driving, if you have no headlights, streetlights, or moon, the ability to maneuver and drive safely is limited. Suddenly, you can move safer and more quickly when you add light to the situation. Many people are trapped in situations because they cannot see how to navigate out of them. Light brings freedom into their lives, allowing them to move to a better place.
Jesus Is The Light
This passage in Isaiah is prophetic as it points to a coming Messiah. When Jesus arrived on the scene, He talked about being the light. “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT). Do not allow false lights or temporary lights to distract you from the one true Light. Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
Don’t continue to struggle in darkness. Allow Jesus to be your light and your guide. Life is much easier when you can see where you are going.