photo credit: Pain by Rickydavid, on Flickr.com.
I am journaling through the book titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story written by Whitney T. Kuniholm. In reflecting on this passage Kuniholm writes "In these verses Isaiah gives God's people a message of hope."
Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. (Isaiah 8:21-22)Distressed, hungry, weary, hard-pressed, pain, roaming, famished, enraged, darkness, trouble, anguish, fear, and gloom... Have you been there? Can you relate? Do some or all of these words describe you and where you're at? Have you been worn out and distressed by this world? Are you upset about life? Is trouble all around? Do you feel beat-up? Do you feel like you are just roaming around with no purpose? Are you satisfied? Are you angry? Do you look around and only see pain and distress? Have you cursed God for your situation for the ugliness you see all around? Do you feel like this is where you are right now?
I have one word for you. Actually God has one word for you: nevertheless.
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— (Isaiah 9:1)In spite of where you are right now, how you feel about life, God can change everything - God has changed everything.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)No more gloom, the dawn is here, a great light come, gladness, happiness, joy, celebration, rejoicing, and glory ...
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as soldiers rejoice when dividing the plunder. (Isaiah 9:3)Here in Isaiah "nevertheless" points to Christ. It is the truth about our situation. It is the reality of where we can be. It is God's grace. It is mercy. Even at the very moment we are overwhelmed by gloom and distress God has provided hope. There is hope in the "nevertheless".
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 Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)Jesus is why there is a "nevertheless".
photo credit: Sun's Rays and a Gate by -terry-, on Flickr.com
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