Summary: Here it is predicted that the people of YAHWEH will be empowered by His Spirit to bring the good news of salvation to mankind. Because of the Messiah’s redeeming work light will fill His people, who in turn are to shine forth, as a spiritual light
THE MESSIAH’S MISSION
Here it is predicted that the people of YAHWEH will be empowered by the Spirit of God to bring the good news of salvation to mankind. Because of the Messiah’s redeeming work (59:19a, 20-21), light (blessing) will fill His people, who in turn are to shine forth, as a spiritual light to the nations, revealing God’s Word and glory to them. In that way, the church will be instrumental in defeating the spiritual darkness that pervades the world (29:18; John 12:35; Acts 26:18; Rom. 2:19; Col. 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9). [Walvoord, John; Zuck, Roy; The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-1985, S. 1115]
The features of the extended context of our passage conveys the glory that God has in store for His people. With the eye of faith the prophet Isaiah sees the glory of the LORD as though it had already happened. He saw what others could not see. He understood what others could not understand. He was laying hold of the future with such a faith that he lived his present life in the light, strength, and joy of that future.
We too need to let the certainty of our eternal future cause us to presently reflect the light of God’s glory to a world in darkness. The light you shine forth may be the only hope they have of knowing that there is a light that can reach them and dispel the deep darkness in which they are living.
As we read these prophecies we long for their fulfillment. Verse one calls the redeemed of the Lord, including us here tonight to Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For too long the night had brooded on Mount Zion, but at last the watchers see the sky brightening into the splendor of dawn, and the cry goes forth that the day is at hand. Zion, the people of God, are called upon to arise from their lazy, lounging, sleeping state and embrace the glory that is theirs in the Messiah. For the Messiah is the light of the world who shines into the darkness of the human soul and situation. This arising is not deliverance from the captivity of Babylon or from the guilt of sin. This radiance is that deliverance from inaction that comes by the empowering of God’s Spirit (59:21). It is the light of God being reflected by the people of God. Like a city gleaming in the light of a newly risen sun, they that arise in the name of Jesus will shine with a beauty that is not their own.
We too, as far as we have the knowledge of God in us, and the grace of God towards us, we are His light. We too are to rise from our lazy, lounging, sleeping state and embrace the glory that is ours in Christ Jesus.
Whenever the glory of the Lord rises upon you, be sure to reflect it. Arise, shine! Arise, to catch as much of it as possible. Shine, that others may catch as much as possible also. Take hold of the glory of the Lord, in long and loving fellowship, till you reflect it in its fulness. For as you reflect it you will be changed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Lord the Spirit. Arise to the highest pinnacle of the mountain to catch the dawn, and then begin to shine with a glory that does not shine from natural light.
Sometimes Christians seek release from their positions in business or social life, on the plea that they are so uncongenial and ungodly. Yet these are the very circumstances under which the church is called to arise and shine. The darker the staircase, the greater the need of the light.
[There’s a story of an ECCENTRIC OLD MAN who carried an oil can with him everywhere he went. If he passed through a squeaky door or a stiff gate, he applied oil to the hinges. His practice of lubricating made life easier for those who followed after him.
Nearly every day we encounter people whose lives grate and grind harshly with problems. In such situations we face two choices-either to aggravate their problems with a spirit of criticism or to lubricate their lives in the Spirit of Christ.
Some people we meet carry unbearable burdens and long for the oil of a sympathetic word. Others are defeated and feel like giving up. Just one drop of encouragement could restore their hope. Still others are mean and sin-hardened. Such people can be drawn to the saving grace of Christ through regular applications of the oil of kindness.
When we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit indwells us and equips us to bless others. If we’re prepared to pour out God’s oil of helpfulness every day and everywhere, beginning at home, we’ll minister Christ’s beauty and the oil of joy to many hurting people and shine the light of truth that shows the way to life eternal.