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Summary: The Jews were to rejoice at the coming of the Messiah - meant to be their pride and joy. So are we, even in the midst of darkness.

January 5, 2020 Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is dawning upon you.

2 Look, darkness covers the earth, and deep darkness covers the peoples,

but the Lord will dawn upon you, and his glory will be seen over you.

3 Nations will walk to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4 Look up. Look all around and see! All of them have been gathered. They are coming to you.

Your sons will come from far away, and people will carry your daughters on their side.

5 Then you will look and be radiant. Your heart will race with excitement and burst with joy.

For great riches from the sea will be delivered to you. The wealth of the nations will come to you.

6 Caravans of camels will cover your land, young camels from Midian and Ephah.

All those from Sheba will come. They will carry gold and incense,

and they will announce the good news of the praise of the Lord.

Arise! Shine! Your Light Has Come

I had the opportunity to visit Israel maybe about 10 years ago, and it was a fascinating trip to be able to see the actual places where Jesus walked and talked. I was going to ignore the tour guide at first until I found out how knowledgeable he was about Israel and Bible history. He kept me very interested and intrigued throughout, but I found it sad that he wasn’t even a Christian.

So it kind of amazed me to think about it. Here we were, coming from hundreds of miles away. A different country. A different race. We traveled hundreds of miles and paid hundreds of dollars to go to visit Israel, mainly because of our faith in Jesus. There are thousands of tourists who go there every year because of their faith in Jesus. But here there were thousands of Jews who rejected Jesus as their Savior. The tour guide knew all about Bible history and Jesus, but he didn’t believe in Him. Jesus should have been his and their pride and joy, but He wasn’t. And that was the same problem back in Isaiah’s day and Jesus’ day as well. Isaiah said to the Israelites, about 700 years before Jesus came,

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is dawning upon you.

2 Look, darkness covers the earth, and deep darkness covers the peoples,

but the Lord will dawn upon you, and his glory will be seen over you.

What does this tell us? The nations were living in darkness, but so were the Jews! He wanted them to rise and shine and see the glory of the Lord that was coming to dawn on them. He wanted the world to be attracted to HIM through the Israelites!

At the time this was written, the Israelites were facing two threats, the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The 700’s brought devastation on almost all of Israel. Jerusalem was left standing only by a miracle of God. The whole country was devastated, and they would all end up in captivity soon. So the people were living in darkness and despair, and deservedly so. The glory of their country had been devastated. They were sure that God had abandoned them, and in many ways He had - because of their blatant unbelief and rebellion. But Isaiah prophesied the virgin birth of Immanuel. He wanted them to know that a Messiah was on His way! He wanted them to take pride in this child and rejoice over this Child!

3 Nations will walk to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4 Look up. Look all around and see! All of them have been gathered. They are coming to you.

Your sons will come from far away, and people will carry your daughters on their side.

5 Then you will look and be radiant. Your heart will race with excitement and burst with joy.

70 years into the Babylonian Captivity, God inspired the king of Babylon to allow the Israelites to return to the Promised Land and rebuild their temple and their wall. He even helped pay for them to do so! The Israelites were taken care of and supported in their return trip. God was preparing the way for the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. It was similar to what Isaiah prophesied, picturing it as a daughter being carried on the hip. Sooner or later many more nations would come.

God’s ideal was that the Israelite nation would rejoice in the birth of Jesus! He wanted them to be happy and celebrate and welcome His arrival. He wanted them to be excited about it and say, “Come, look at our Christ child! He has come to save the world!” Isaiah even prophesied HOW people would come -

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