God’s first words in the Bible are “Let there be light!” (Genesis 1:3). And there was light, and the light was good.
The sun, moon and stars – those heavenly bodies which shine and reflect light – burst forth in praise to their Creator: “Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all stars of light!” (Psalm 148:3).
Our days, weeks, months and years, our holidays and feasts – our whole lives – are ordered and layered based on the journey of these lights across the heavens. “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years’” (Genesis 1:14).
God is Light, and He shines His light on even the darkest places: “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:22).
Light is the language and the currency of heaven and of His kingdom.
God has no darkness in Him
We can trust in the God of Israel, because He is 100% kosher. There is nothing unkosher about Him. “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
The incredible news that comes at this season, when the Feast of Hanukkah/Lights and the world’s celebration of the birth of the Jewish Messiah fall on the same day, is that God has come to find us and to shine His light upon us. “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). “Then Yeshua again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life’” (John 8:12).
Who knows what darkness lurks in the hearts of men
Many don’t want the light to shine on our innermost thoughts and passions. “Those who rebel against the light, they do not want to know its ways nor abide in its paths…The murderer arises at dawn …and at night he is as a thief. The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me’ …In the dark they dig into houses. They shut themselves up by day. They do not know the light” (Job 24:13-16).
The role of the prophet is to shine God’s light into a dark world, to let God’s perspective penetrate the fog and deception that often fills the human heart. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).
God’s presence and His wisdom bring light, exposing man’s folly and foolishness. “And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13). “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light” (Ephesians 5:13).
Messengers of light
The God of Jacob has called His Jewish people to be a light to the Gentile world (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; Acts 13:47). He also calls all who follow the Jewish Messiah to shine into the world (Philippians 2:15) as sons of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5).
This message of light is very Jewish and very ancient. Moses and the Hebrew Prophets spoke of it: “I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place – that Messiah was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:23).
When Saul was knocked off his horse on the road to Damascus, the God of Israel declared to him, “I have appointed you …to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).
The light of His terrible swift sword
When the Lord God of Israel returns to sift the nations, He will come with light and fire to defend the Jewish people and heal their wounds. God’s light will expose the sin and rebellion of the nations as His judgment descends upon them. He did this when He fought against Assyria, and the same principle holds true in days yet future for “YHVH, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 31:9). “Therefore YHVH the God of armies will send a wasting disease among (the enemy’s) stout warriors, and under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. And the Light of Israel will become a fire and His Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour (the enemy’s) thorns and his briars in a single day” (Isaiah 10:16-17).
“On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day YHVH binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted” (Isaiah 30:25-26).
This was part and parcel of the Messianic hope that Miriam (Mary) the mother of Yeshua prophesied before His birth: “He has done mighty deeds with His arm. He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones and has exalted those who were humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant in remembrance of His covenant faithfulness, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever” (Luke 1:51-55).
Gross darkness and burning light
The prophet Isaiah spoke into our day, announcing that heavy spiritual fog would one day spread across the face of the earth, and gross darkness would envelope the nations. Trees that have stood for a thousand years suddenly will fall, as Bob Dylan says. In the midst of that darkness, a miraculous light will shine, shooting down from heavens through the sooty clouds of sin. And that light will pierce through to the face of the Jewish people, setting their countenance and their hearts aflame.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come and the glory of YHVH has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples. But YHVH will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising…No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light. But you will have YHVH for an everlasting light and your God for your glory. Your sun will no longer set nor will your moon wane. For you will have YHVH for an everlasting light and the days of your mourning will be over” (Isaiah 60:1-3, 19-20).
“In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:6). This burning army, also prophesied about by Ezekiel, will shine God’s light on the battlefields of the Middle East, striking terror into the hearts of Israel’s enemies.
As we reflect on God’s amazing light and on His amazing love for mankind, we also remember His covenant faithfulness to His people Israel. To them and through them He has sent Messiah Yeshua – the Light of the world and the Glory of His people Israel (Luke 2:32).
“The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).
How should we then pray?
- Pray for spiritual leaders in your city and your country to receive spiritual revelation and revival about these issues as crisis events raise their heads
- Pray for yourself as you sit with God’s word – that He will deepen your understanding and discernment about these issues
- Pray for God’s Spirit to fall on Jewish people worldwide, granting revelation about His covenant promises, His marvelous calling on Israel, and His incredible provision of atonement and rescue in Yeshua the Messiah
- Pray for the self-declared enemies of the Jewish people – for revelation of these truths, for repentance, for revelation of God’s heart and for works in keeping with repentance on these matters
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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