Isaiah once prophesied this:
“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned…
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.” – Isaiah 9:2, 5-7
Isaiah was living in dark times. The political leadership had just changed, and after years of stability the nations were in a state of upheaval. Society had lost its way, and was oppressing the poor and vulnerable. Darkness was all around, and looked like it would be here to stay. In the midst of all this, Isaiah saw with spiritual eyes the light that was to come. In the midst of war, he foresaw a future of peace, and an end to all warfare.
It mattered not that it was not fulfilled in his lifetime – nor that it will not truly be fulfilled until Christ’s second coming. The point was that he saw the light.
Here’s a beautiful poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, based around Goethe’s last words (‘More light!’)
Let the Light Enter In
The dying words of Goethe.
“Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open:
Light! more light! before I go.
“Softly let the balmy sunshine
Play around my dying bed,
E’er the dimly lighted valley
I with lonely feet must tread.
“Light! more light! for Death is weaving
Shadows ’round my waning sight,
And I fain would gaze upon him
Through a stream of earthly light.”
Not for greater gifts of genius;
Not for thoughts more grandly bright,
All the dying poet whispers
Is a prayer for light, more light.
Heeds he not the gathered laurels,
Fading slowly from his sight;
All the poet’s aspirations
Centre in that prayer for light.
Gracious Saviour, when life’s day-dreams
Melt and vanish from the sight,
May our dim and longing vision
Then be blessed with light, more light.
– Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911)
Today I’m thinking of all who are waiting for the Light, in the midst of dark times. And I’m thankful for the Prophets – both biblical and contemporary, who remind us to see with spiritual eyes, beyond the darkness and war, to the peace and Light that will come.
Over to you:
- What helps you to look to the Light in dark times?