Summary: There’s hope! The answers do not always come quickly, or come as we suppose is best, or come as we prefer – but the best answers come! The Hope (God Almighty) of the ages delivers!
A little over a month before he died, the famous atheist Jean-Paul Sartre (a French novelist, dramatist and philosopher) declared that he so strongly resisted feelings of despair that he would say to himself, “I know I shall die in hope.” Then in profound sadness, he would add, “But hope needs a foundation.”
(Our Daily Bread, April 17, 1995)
That hope is outlined in Hebrews 11:8 “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 10 Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.”
I have a hope / That will never fade away / He’s alive in me /
Living day to day / I have a hope / And my hope has a name /
Prince of Peace / And the Lord of Love / Jesus Christ / The Son of God King of hope / He will always be / His great name / Holds my destiny
1993 Jim Firth (Jim Firth 560 N LaCumbre Rd. Santa Barbara CA 93110)
That’s My King!
1. There is Hope in Dark Times!
God’s people had turned to spiritism and psychics (8:19). They had chosen their own paths of disobedience and rejection of God’s ways. As a result God’s people faced oppression and bondage from enemies that sought to destroy them. What was mentioned here had already past but a greater bondage and slavery was coming as another warring king came to oppress Israel. They were coming out of one slavery experience only to face another foe. They were being exploited, robbed, distressed and oppressed. “The time of darkness” was certainly bleak. The verse however, offers hope – hope that the darkness and despair will not continue! There is a promise of good times when the people of God will hold their heads high again! The people in darkness were slaves in Babylon and the prophet’s words would be realized for them 60 years later.
Choices and consequences go hand in hand.
E.g. God to Solomon, “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or I might command locusts to devour your crops, or I might send plagues among you.” (2 Chronicles 7:13) You cannot run a sharp blade across your arm and not expect to bleed. The hope is in stopping the bleeding and healing from the wound!
There’s hope! The answers do not always come quickly, or come as we suppose is best, or come as we prefer – but the best answers come! The Hope (God Almighty) of the ages delivers!
E.g. Continuing with Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14 God continued with, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. 15 I will listen to every prayer made in this place.”
That’s My King!
2. There is Deliverance in Desperate Days
This is a prophecy of the coming Christ, the Messiah of the world! Isaiah’s reference to “seeing a great light” leads some to interpret this as a picture that when sins hold is rejected the light of God’s deliverance will come crashing in! That, when Jesus comes as Messiah, the light is going to be a blinding reality! Yet, Jesus came as a babe in a manger – almost unnoticed and shrugged off. It was through the course of his 33 years, and only after his death and resurrection that the blinding light shot into humanity’s heart and left us staggering as our darkened hearts squinted against the overwhelming truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
We can expect moments of truth, revelation and blessing to explode in our lives, while much of the revelation of God’s glory is a gradual transformative experience. A progressive work – “Put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. (Philippians 2:12). Not many are blinded as Paul on the road to Damascus and arrested dramatically by God. He is too overwhelming for us to handle in all his glory! We can only manage small doses of His person and power!
That’s My King!
Verse 4 again
John N. Oswalt, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Kentucky): “Isaiah calls to mind historic events which would give credence to the eschatological [last times, end times, judgement] hope. Gideon and his people, faced by an oppressive horde, discovered that in God weakness is strength, and they watched in amazement as God used them to bring deliverance (Judges 6, 7). He comforts the Church again after these great threatenings promising to restore them to great glory in Messiah.”