Light and the Spreading Heavens – Isaiah 42

On a still, clear night, standing in awe of the limitless universe before us, we get a sense for the overwhelming nature of God.  That such a Creator knows even the number of hairs upon our head, or cares so deeply about each one of us, is almost beyond our comprehension.

It is just as amazing that this Creator would come and walk the earth as a human, a future king in the line of David.  He would come to save and to serve not only the Jewish nation, but also all the non-Jewish people of the earth, the Gentiles.

The prophet Isaiah tells us more about this coming Servant King:

Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”  Isaiah 42:5-9 NKJV

Isaiah reminds us that it was the Lord who stretched out the heavens.  In fact, they are still stretching out today.  When there was a Big Bang to start it off, it was because He spoke it into existence.

When you and I awoke this morning, it was the Lord who gave us breath.  He created the spirit and soul within us that define our consciousness being.  He has gifted us the miracle of life, an ordained set of days for us to walk upon this earth, but it does not end there.  We are created as eternal beings.

God called and sent this Messiah to ensure that we could spend our eternal life with Him.  He is pure and righteous, but we are not.  To remove this incompatibility, the Messiah lovingly atoned for all of our sins and shortcomings on a cross of suffering, taking all the punishment that we deserved upon Himself.  Because of this, His believers may then rise with a new glorified body to have joyful fellowship with Him and to explore His created universe in a never-ending journey.

How will we know this Messiah?  Two more signs pointing to Him are given by Isaiah here: He will give sight to the blind and bring prisoners freedom from dark prisons.

The gospels give several examples of Jesus giving sight to the blind, as well as hearing to the deaf, cleansing to the lepers and healing to the lame.  He did this out of love and compassion, but also to show His credentials – He is this Servant King that Isaiah spoke of.

I can personally attest to His love of prisoners who sit in darkness.  Although prisoners were the furthest thing from my mind at that point, He nudged me one day to bring a change to that.   A gentle sensation came over my body and spirit while I was on my way to worship one Sunday morning.  It was a very strong impression to pay attention, that something was about to happen.

I listened carefully in Sunday school but did not hear anything unusual.  Same thing with the singing and prayers – they were good, but nothing that really got my attention.  Surely it must be in the sermon.  When it was done, I had the same feeling – nothing in it really grabbed me as something I needed to hear from God that morning.

As the worship service drew to a close, I began to feel that I must have misinterpreted my divine alert.  Then, during closing announcements, a man stood and said that he was on a ministry team going to the State Prison and that they needed volunteers to join them.

That announcement hit me like a wooden two-by-four – there was no doubt in my mind that this was the reason for the alert and was my mission now.  That began a multi-decade experience of going into prisons and jails for various types of ministries.  The Spirit of God, the Servant King, has always been there to protect and to lead to the people who were seeking freedom from spiritual darkness, who needed hope, a word, and a prayer.

Reflection

Lord Jesus, bring us into Your light.  Free us from our prisons, be they physical, spiritual, of body or of mind.  Bring us out of the darkness of addiction, depression, oppression, or anything that binds us and keeps us from enjoying You and the amazing universe You have created around us.  May we walk out our remaining days in freedom and joy, serving alongside You in Your love.  In Your Holy Name we pray, Amen.

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