Summary: As explained in this sermon, the first two words of Isaiah 6O:1, ARISE, SHINE constitute God's divine plan and command meant to tranform lives for better, and how to actualize this transformation by connecting with Jesus Christ, the Light of the world and
THE WHY AND HOW TO ARISE AND SHINE
Text: Isaiah 60: 1- 7 (KJV)
By Pastor Zacch Olorunnipa
"1Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. 4Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. 5Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. 6The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. 7All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory."
• Why Arise and Shine?
It is a Law (Is. 60:1; Ps. 19:7)
It is of the Lord (Is. 60:2; Ezk. 12:25)
The Lord is the Light (Is. 60: 1, 3; Jn. 8:12; 9:5; Mt. 5:14)
It is a sign of Life (Is. 60: 6-7; Ps. 150:6)
• How to Arise and Shine
Connect with Christ ( Jn. 1: 4, 9, 8:12, 9:5, 12:46, Nu.6:25, Ps. 67:1, Mt. 5:14)
Consume God's word ( Jer. 15:16; Ps. 119:130; 2Cor 4:4,6)
Commit to God's Work (Mt. 5:16; Dan 12:3)
Cultivate Righteous Living (Mt. M13:43, Pro. 4:18)
Call forth God's Promises (Job. 22:28, Rm. 4:17)
Both the words ARISE and SHINE in Isaiah 60:1 are indicative of a change. The good news is that the change is a positive one. They both connote improved standard of life, particularly in line with God's plan as revealed through Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 29:11) and also Apostle Paul (3 John v.2): "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jer. 29:11, NIV); "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (3 John v.2, KJV)
The book of Isaiah is full of prophecies given by Isaiah as received from God. Many of Isaiah's prophecies given in earlier chapters were unpalatable to the Israelites as these described the imminent wrath, judgment and punishment of God that would come on the people as a result of their disobedience to God, His laws and their general decadence. In particular, there were prophecies about various woes upon the unfaithful Israel (Ch. 5 & 29), that would lead to unpleasant outcomes such as the one described in Isaiah. 29:4: "And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust".
Against these backdrop of downcast, dejected and depressive status of Zion, Isaiah also pronounced many blessings that would accrue to those that have contrite and repentant heart and humble spirit who would be obedient to the Lord of Light and follow His statues. Some of such pronouncements and promises of blessings, which would make the people to "arise and shine" are spelt out in Chapter 60 of Isaiah. The implication is that no matter how negative your past or present status may be, God can make you arise and shine. Is your marriage in a mess? Are you finances failing? Is your spiritual life sliding down the hill? Are you facing darkness with respect to your career, children, school work?, etc. As discussed in this message, you can arise and shine. Yes, you can. With God all things are possible (Mt. 19:26). Shout Hallelujah!
WHY ARISE AND SHINE?
Before embarking on a strategy to make something a reality, it helps to have the conviction that the thing is doable or achievable. Let me share with you 4 reasons why you can arise and shine in the context of Isaiah 60:1.
1. It is a Law.
The first 2 words of Isaiah 60: 1 are ARISE, SHINE. This phrase is not given as a suggestion. It is not an advice. It is not a dream, neither is it an opinion. It is a command given as received from God. When a command comes from God, it is perfect according to Ps. 19:7: "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple". Whatever, the word of God says is settled, even in heaven (Ps. 119:89): "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven". God has spoken His word that you should arise and shine. You need a positive change from your present status. It is consistent with the word of God. The devil cannot change alter the plan of God for you if you cooperate with God.