Light Overcomes the Darkness
Open Your Bible
Isaiah 9:1-7, Psalm 27:1-6, Micah 7:8, Matthew 4:13-16
BY Oghosa Iyamu
Section 3: The Light Dawns
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas Day, prepare your heart to read this familiar story through fresh eyes. Notice how light is present, from the star above the city of Bethlehem to the glory of God represented by the angels. Discover anew the dawning of the promised Light of the World in a baby boy born to a virgin, placed in a manger because there was no room in the inn.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
These lyrics are from an old hymn titled, “Blessed Assurance,” penned from the heart of a woman named Fanny Crosby. Fanny, who was blind from birth, was one of the most prolific hymn writers to ever live, composing more than 8,000 songs. Though she spent her entire childhood and adult life without sight, she wrote boldly about the blessed assurance found in the light of Christ.
Long before Fanny Crosby penned this hymn, the prophet Isaiah wrote of another blessed assurance—a light of hope to come for the people of God walking in darkness (Isaiah 9:2). This prophecy declared that the people of God would soon have a new story and a new song to point them toward praising their Savior. Isaiah wrote,
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…
Maybe, like me, you read those words and wonder what exactly was this darkness oppressing God’s people. Isaiah prophesied at a time marked by destruction and devastation. God’s people were experiencing an inescapable, prolonged suffering and mistreatment at the hands of the Assyrians. They were drenched with desperation and longing; waiting and clinging to God’s promise of a light to come, though it felt like the darkness around them had won.
Is this you today? Do you feel the heaviness of darkness, living in a broken world?
You and I are reminded every day of the physical and spiritual darkness that still surrounds us though the Light has come (Matthew 4:16). And it can feel like darkness is winning. For some of us, it’s battling physical or mental illness. For others, it’s the recent loss of a loved one, and for many of us, it’s the darkness of our own sins that we run back to over and over again.
Advent reminds us that whatever darkness surrounds us, the promise of Isaiah still rings true, like a sweet, reassuring melody that whispers, “It won’t always be this way.” The season of Advent announces our blessed assurance—the Light has come, and will come again to ultimately and completely extinguish darkness. Forever.