Today's VerseArise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you and His glory will be seen upon you. — Isaiah 60:1-2 ESV
DevotionOur verse for today reveals a great prophecy concerning the promise of our Lord's return, reign, and the redemption of His people and His city Jerusalem. This promise came at a time of great suffering for God's people. They had been in the lengthy period of exile from their beloved city Jerusalem. Even so, much of the city laid in ruins.
Today God's people are feeling many of the same emotions. With the pandemic, lockdowns, layoffs, failed businesses, killings that brought on protests; lives unnecessarily taken. You turn on the news and it is on TV every night.
If you're like me, you may be feeling tired, weary, stressed, exasperated, and despairing when you what is happening in our cities. These are many of the same emotions God's people were experiencing at the time of Isaiah's prophecy. However, our Lord does not allow circumstances to destroy His people. Rather, He uses circumstances to redeem His people. I sense the literal light of Isaiah's prophecy is around the corner. The glory of Yahweh is upon us!
Until then, we as His people have a purpose. I want to focus for a moment on the word, ‘arise.' We have the promise that the Lord will arise. His light will shine. Glory will come to His people. Nevertheless, the instruction and application for us today to receive this promise and the gift of redemption is that as His people we must arise.
The Church now more than ever needs to stand up and be seen and heard. It is not a religious arising, it should be a relationship arising. It is about our own relationships with God, and our relationships with others through God. "For such a time as this,"as recorded in Esther 4:14. God's people must rise physically, emotionally, and spiritually if this country and world are to be healed and redeemed from this great awakening of sins and injustices.
Allow me to leave you with words of encouragement from 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon: "I am afraid for you who go ankle-deep into religion and never venture further. I am afraid that you might return to the shore. But as for you who plunge into the center of the stream and find waters to swim in, I have no fears. You shall be carried onward by a current ever increasing in strength, ‘til in the ocean of eternal love you shall lose yourselves in heaven above."
Now is the time church. Arise! Shine! All of this will pass one way or another. Best to jump in the stream and enjoy the flow.
By Pastor David Massie, Bible League International staff, California, U.S.