Text: Isaiah 9:1-21, Isaiah 10:1-4, Psalm 2:1-12, John 3:19-21
Gordon, Andrew, and Dennis were some real troublemakers back in the day.
We only had a few hours’ warning to prepare for their arrival, and as soon as they approached, everyone knew to hide. They’d charge through town leaving destruction in their wake, then exit, never to be seen again. We were never the same after their visits. Growing up in Florida, we’d curse Gordon, Andrew, and Dennis—the hurricanes of my childhood—for years to come.
I remember Andrew the most. He arrived just before bedtime, without a hint of common houseguest courtesy. The winds howled, the trees fell, the lights flickered then remained off, as did the power. A constant cracking noise in the backyard accompanied thunderclaps and lightning bolts in the sky. Enveloped in darkness, we tried to drown out the noise—and our fear—with layers of blankets and pillows. We’d drift off for a few minutes, hoping to sleep through the night, only to be awakened by the next big BOOM!
We didn’t know if the noises we heard were in the backyard or down the road. We weren’t sure which way the storm was moving, if it was dying down, or just getting started. We didn’t know if the power would come back on in the morning, or if we’d be without lights for the week. We couldn’t see the damage for the darkness.
Sound familiar? Isaiah left us with a similar prophecy of darkness:
“They will look toward the earth and see only distress, darkness, and the gloom of affliction, and they will be driven into thick darkness.”
- Isaiah 8:22
Can we sit here for a moment? We may feel ready to skip to the next paragraph because we know what happens next, but friends, we can’t. We shouldn’t. It is only because of Jesus that we are even aware that darkness has an opposite. Let’s gather ‘round with the people of Jerusalem, desperate for morning, aching for light. Hoping it will come again soon.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.”
- Isaiah 9:1-2
We may not be able to assess the damage through the darkness, but we can approach the darkness knowing it has been defeated, knowing that light has already had the last say.
Matthew Henry said, “It is comforting to us that when things are at the darkest, that He who forms the light and creates the darkness has appointed to both their bounds and set the one over against the other.”
The Lord didn’t just put darkness and light in place; He bridged the gap between them. He sent our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace to reach through thick darkness and bring us into the light (Isaiah 9:6).
We may not know what the morning will bring, but we already know what Jesus’ work on the cross has brought. By His grace, may we remember that His light is more than enough.