Friday Devotion, December 18
1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. 3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. 4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. 5 The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Now, most of us have heard verse 8 as a reference to Jesus, which is definitely true, this passage is not talking about Jesus initially. It is a continuation of yesterday's passage. The people might stumble in darkness, but out of grace and mercy, they will have a chance at reconciliation. In the same way, what ever darkness and despair you are going through, no matter how dire, God will give you the chance for restitution.
Do you seem to dwell in darkness or light more? Do you believe that God reaches out to those in the dark? Why or why not?
In my darkness, you bring me light o God. Let the light that shines upon me flow through me and shine upon others. Amen.