Darkness Before Light (Isa 9:2)

Pastor’s Pen 12-16-20

What is the biggest issue facing you as a person?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?  How about this one:  What is the biggest issue facing humanity?  What is wrong with us?  Many in our culture would individually focus on some immediate perceived need.  Paying off a home, finding someone to love, having enough saved for a comfortable retirement.  But what is the end result of all of those conditions?  Well, not to be macabre, but you’re still going to die.  Maybe you want to leave a legacy?  You’d like to change the world?  Bring about peace for all the nations?  Food, shelter, and clothing for every person on the planet… but they’re all going to die too right?  The generations will pass away and eventually humanity will go extinct.  The universe itself is on a timetable and will pass away.  So what’s the biggest problem?  The agnostic existentialist Jean Paul Sartre said, “Whether I live for a day or a thousand years makes no difference once I’ve lost eternity”.  I think Sartre is right about that.  Think of everything you’re chasing after right now.  Your wealth, your love, your security, your health: if it ends in death then what does it matter?  It is as Solomon said: “grasping oil” or “chasing after the wind”…  “Meaningless, meaningless, utterly meaningless.

If there is a God all of this changes, but not necessarily for the better (“better” would depend on your condition with regard to that God).  All monotheistic traditions and revelation hold that death is not the end.  So for those who wish to live their lives in a blaze of glory and seek the shelter of oblivion in the grave… sorry, but that’s not an option.  As Christ himself stated it in Matthew 10:28: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  The news is bad… our problems are bigger than the details of our lives, and even bigger than death.  We’ve got a God to contend with, and He’s not happy with us.  But its okay, right?  We can love that God, and try to serve Him, and advocate for Him and that will make it alright, right?  Wrong.  The scriptures indicate that God’s standard is perfection… how are you measuring up?  It is all pretty dismal, unless someone can change God’s view of us.  And here’s the good news.  For those paying attention to the story of God and Israel, we see God training a people to recognize that salvation comes from God alone, and the story has never changed.

Isa 43:11 I, only I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.

Isa 43:25 “I, only I, am He who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake,
And I will not remember your sins.

From the forging of this cosmos, our merciful God had rightly diagnosed our biggest problem as  our rebellion against Him and our inability to fix it.  This same God has a plan to overwhelm our sin and restore us.  His zeal for us would bring it about in a most unthinkable way.  He humbled himself and came to live as one of us.  Do you realize how dark things are apart from the coming of the Light of the World?

Isa 9:6-7 For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of armies will accomplish this.

Article by Ben Walker

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