“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isaiah 9:2 (KJV)
Looking back as a five-year-old I recall the enormity of darkness, the great lack of light that, I experienced standing on my Grandmother’s front porch at night. It was so immense that you could not see anything in front of you. You see, my grandmother Daisy Bell lived in the country in a small town named Jackson in Butts County, Georgia. The nearest neighbor was about a fifteen minute walk away and her house was about a thirty minute drive from town. She lived in a white tin-roof house that sat on top of a ground made of red Georgia clay. Thick, majestic pine trees draped themselves around her home creating a picturesque setting. However, when nighttime arrived and the moon was concealed by cloud cover, vision was obsolete! The pitch black darkness felt like a heavy, thick blanket that covered your whole body.
I recall saying in my heart: “I don’t have to work at hiding because the darkness is doing it for me! Nobody can see me. I can do anything that I want to do.” Because of my ignorance and lost condition I even concluded that not even God could see me. My condition was compounded by the fact that I was comfortable being in the dark.
The Word of God, described as light, reveals the hearts of those who prefer to park and practice their lawless lifestyles. It also highlights the immense negative implications of identifying and inviting darkness in one’s life.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19 (KJV)
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”Ephesians 4:18 (KJV)
Our opening text refers to God’s people; specifically the northern tribes who were in a very dark season of captivity and suffering. They were experiencing the consequences for cancelling the covenant between them and God (Deuteronomy 28). However, the covenant-breakers will be benefactors of God’s mercy and be blessed to see the light of the Messiah!
In the Gospel of Matthew, the Apostle Matthew recites our text (Matthew 4:16) which is without question fulfilled in the Galilean ministry of Jesus. It’s interesting to note that the majority of our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry took place in this northern section of Israel. Just like Jesus provided the Light to lift and remove these Israelites out of darkness, He has done the same for us! The shadow of death blanketed us in darkness. However, God delivered the Great Light to get us out of great darkness!
As a closing exhortation, remember that seeing is possible by receiving and repentance. God gave us the Light to get out of darkness. You must give up your life and walk in obedience to the Gospel in order to walk out of darkness and experience His light.
For the Glory of God,