Light In the Darkness
Merciful Lord, You are my faithful friend. Remind me today and tomorrow that I am in Your wise hands.
Read Isaiah 50:1-11
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Here, the prophet gives the challenging invitation to venture all upon God (10). As Christians, we can move into the future, confident that God has gone before.
There are various kinds of darkness: the physical darkness of a cloudy night or an unlit room; the emotional shadows of death and depression; the social gloom of loneliness or persecution; and the spiritual desolation of unforgiven sin or perceived separation from God. In some of these expressions there can be deep desperation. Maybe you have experienced this directly or in the life of a friend.
Often our first inclination is to try to dispel the darkness by ourselves. While physical darkness can easily be overcome by the lighting of fires (or, now, the flicking of a switch), not so other types of darkness. In particular, trying to create our own solutions to spiritual darkness is doomed to fail; we may even make things worse (11). Israel’s people knew the darkness of being disowned by God because of their sinfulness (1-3). They experienced such forsaken times that they could not respond to the overtures of the One whose all-powerful, cosmic Word had wooed them in the past. The servant, too, knew dark times of social rejection and physical abuse (4-9), though, for him, this was not due to sinfulness but faithfulness. His obedient spirit was constantly sustained by the guiding word of his master, which enabled him to endure opposition and persecution.
The nation would have done well to listen to the servant (10,11). Had they, like him, found light in their darkness by trusting their God rather than trying to provide their own remedies (like worshiping impotent idols) they would not have endured repeated episodes of seeming abandonment. However, faithfulness to God is no guarantee of an easy life. Many of his obedient servants have experienced periods of the “dark night of the soul” (John of the Cross, 1542-1591), but they have learned that their Lord sustains them through the darkness until his light returns.
Pray for the light of Jesus’ love to break into the life of a friend or acquaintance burdened by significant darkness (John 8:12).
Lord, I thank You for light given to me when I am stumbling in darkness. Truly, Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psa.119:105).