Blinking In The Light

Imagine yourself in a dark auditorium.  On stage, you can barely make out some pitiful figures groaning and weeping, groping for relief.  Some, attempting to walk, stumble and fall in the blackness.

This was the nation of Israel in the days of Isaiah.  Their longstanding rejection of God had brought them under Assyria’s cruel fist.  It was a time of darkness, gloom and anguish, as God disciplined Israel with shame and humiliation.

But suddenly the darkened stage is drenched in blazing light.

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined. (Is 9.2)

John Oswalt says, “They did not produce [the light] nor are they responsible for it.  Where they had been groping in darkness, or sitting in the land of death’s shadow, they suddenly find themselves blinking in the light.”

What a picture of God’s grace.  Israel, loving darkness, had said “no thanks” to God, but instead of abandoning them to their sin and misery, he graced them with light, like he did with us:

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 CO 4.6)

When God enlightened our hearts, it was as great a miracle as when God first spoke light into existence.  In our sin and darkness, we never saw Christ as desirable, but when God shone his light in our hearts, suddenly we could see God’s glory shining in Jesus.  We too, found ourselves blinking in the light of salvation.

This Christmas, think back to when God gave you light, and give him praise.

  • Rachel Dulaney

    I love that verse in 2 Corinthians. Whenever I see the sun peeking out from behind the clouds (or shining out brightly, as it were) I can’t help but think of that verse. Thanks for the beautiful reminder, Mark! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • Mark Altrogge

    Thanks for your comment, Rachel. I hope that the next time I see the sun shining out I think of this verse. Hope you have a Merry Christmas too!

  • Gary Boal

    Yeh, thanks for this reminder Mark, to think back to when the light first shone is a thrill that has brought a huge smile to me.
    Hoping for the light to get brighter & brighter & brighter in the future as we see more clearly the one who is the Light

  • Ron Reffett

    Hey Mark!
    Great reminder of what this season is truly about. I’m so thankful that though we were steeped in deep utter darkness the glory of God shone brightly in the face of Jesus! The glory that faded from Moses’ face but shone brighter still in the baby born to take our sins away!
    What a comforting thought to think that even though we turned away and loved the darkness, His light shone even brighter, calling us to Himself! That truly is a reason to celebrate this Christmas! I hope that you and yours have a truly wonderful and blessed Christmas Mark, I’m thankful for you!

  • Mark Altrogge

    Hi Gary,

    Yes, thinking about when God first shone his light into my heart brings a smile to my face too.

    Hi Ron,

    Yes, I’m so glad God didn’t leave me in my darkness. I like your comment about the glory that faded from Moses’ face and the greater glory that shone from Christ’s. Hope you too have a great Christmas, Ron! Thanks for your continual encouragement.