60 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
The hope of Israel before the coming of Jesus the Messiah was rooted in the conviction that God’s faithfulness to His covenants made with Abraham and his descendants (i.e. Israel–the people of God) could not be shaken or placed in jeopardy. Despite periods of “thick darkness,” the Lord would rise and His glory would set things right: not just for Israel, but for the entire fallen world.
That was a longing that every Israelite felt deep in their bones. Their love and obedience to God was connected to this shared longing for restoration. The forces of darkness, evil, and death were realities that consistently confronted Israel throughout its history. And yet Israel clung to the prophets’ voice that dared to proclaim that darkness, evil, and death would not be the end of their story.
Who in your life needs to hear that good news? How could you be a gentle, humble witness to fact that Jesus’ glory has appeared, and He has come to invite those living in thick darkness into an entirely new life of hope, peace, and joy?