Photo by Alex Ronsdorf on StockSnap

What does it feel like to live ‘in the land of deep darkness’ (v2)? Depression or grief can feel like a life where someone has switched all the lights out, and there is no joy.

Darkness can also mean a feeling of lostness – we can no longer see our way ahead and don’t know which step to take next.

It can also imply evil – we may be surrounded by evil people and desperate situations, with no way out. Living in darkness is lonely, too.

Isaiah’s prophecy is written to encourage the kingdom of Israel, in the North, and it looks like he was writing around the time where they would be obliterated by Assyria.

It would be devastating – there was no way around it – and verses 4–5 suggest they were ruled by an oppressor and embroiled in war.

No longer would the kingdom of Israel be associated with anything good. From this desperate situation, God promises incredible hope: one day a leader would come.

Unlike the other Old Testament prophecies which had an initial fulfilment at the time and then an ultimate fulfilment when Jesus came, this prophecy really could only be talking about Jesus: a child born, who would be called Mighty God.

Although Israel would have to wait centuries before goodness came to their land again, it was the best thing imaginable: God Himself, bringing peace.

It is gentle encouragement for us who feel like we personally live in darkness, or if we’re in an environment that feels evil.

Though we may have to wait for it, when God brings the light, it really is good. If you’re in darkness, pray for that light.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Father God, who said “Let there be light” and there was light, please bring light to my situation, to my surroundings, to this world. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
In a quiet moment, light a candle, and spend some time watching the light. Ask God to bring light into the areas where you’re grieving, lost, numb, or surrounded by evil.

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 27:1–3; Isa. 60:1–3; John 1:1–13 & 8:12–20

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.