The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. 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 oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as you did on the day of Midian. For every trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire.
Have you ever heard the saying, “The harder the rain, the more brilliant the rainbow?” That is the picture the prophet is painting here. He was living in a dismal time in Israel’s history. Pathetic and evil King Ahaz sat on the throne exercising an abysmal rule. Due to its weakness, the nation was listless and groaned from the fear of foreign invasion. Then out of the mists of gloom erupted this glorious vision, abrupt and beautiful. Like a sudden flash of lightning, it illuminated the world with the proclamation, “Here’s a reason to rejoice!”
The Jews had endured bondage in Egypt. They had been constantly threatened by their neighbors from one settlement to another, and they longed for the appearance of their Messiah. This vision provided a sense of optimism that one day their joy
would actually be realized, and the Messiah would appear.
Rejoicing in the Light
Jump forward to the first century where the environment was much the same as that experienced by Isaiah. Roman rule had been oppressive for the Jews, and more than ever, they longed for the appearance of their Messiah. And just as suddenly as Isaiah observed his wonderful vision of light, so the Light of the World arrived on the scene.
All of us have experienced times when life threw a curve ball, and we swung and missed. We know what it means to go through severe illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or trying family issues. Remember, however: the harder the rain, the more brilliant the rainbow. Our troubles are transitory because we know of the Great Light that came into the world as a baby, grew in favor with God, and ministered for three years to a world that ultimately rejected Him. Yet, it is because of Him that we can experience joy even in the dark times
of our lives.
What gladness we feel because we know the Babe who became our Savior. This Christmastime, share with others your thanksgiving for Jesus, who in the midst of gloom and darkness came into the world offering a light that dispels the darkness. Make this a Christmas to remember by telling everyone you know about Jesus who gives you a peace
that passes all understanding and salvation that lasts for an eternity. What a reason to rejoice!
Do you rejoice because of the work Jesus has done? In the hard times of your life, ask God to show you His Light. Post Scripture or other reminders that our hope in Jesus does not change even in times of difficulty in places you will see them frequently.