“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.”
Prophecy is mysterious, and I can only imagine what people prior to Jesus’ day thought when they heard Isaiah’s words read aloud. “Something good is coming…” is the message loud and clear. But what exactly? How? We see light and dark imagery, commonly used in all sorts of literature genres. God is reminding us of the spiritual battle that is being waged on our behalf. Dark versus light.
What happens to your eyes when you go from darkness to light? If you’ve ever gone to a matinee movie you know the feeling… There is a shock to the system as you get your bearings. Your eyes have to adjust. We live in a time when our eyes are still adjusting. We see bits and pieces of the kingdom of Heaven, parts of the war won while the darkness continues on other fronts. But we know, just as Isaiah’s audience knew, the burden will be lifted someday.
Here’s your freedom for today: what you cannot see now will become clear later. Darkness has a way of making it hard to see details. Perhaps you can make out shapes or shadows, but you can’t see the whole picture. The Holy Spirit shines a light in certain places, but until Jesus’ glory is fully revealed and heaven and earth are made new we will not understand everything. This semi-darkness is why we continue to wait and hope. That heavy burden on your shoulders will be lifted. That is an eternal guarantee.