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A Light to the Nations

( [email protected] ) Nov 05, 2004 12:06 PM EST

I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6 NIV)

Maybe it hadn't been such a good idea after all. The children had wandered into the cave while the sun was still shining, but as it grew dark, they could no longer find their way out! After some hopeless stumbling around, one boy suddenly remembered his father's wise instructions: "If you ever get lost in the dark, light one of these matches." A reach into his pocket, a swift flick of the wrist, and the cave walls were aglow. His friends, seeing the light, followed him to safety.

When Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God, his listeners knew they were no ordinary people. Israel's Scriptures revealed a persistent, though oft-neglected, theme that they existed for a purpose greater than themselves. God told Abraham, "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3). Isaiah declared the same, that Israel was to be a "light to the nations" (Isa. 49:6). Surely when Israel's God came in person to rule, that would usher in the great age when Israel would truly accomplish her special vocation. That's just what John had in mind when he wrote of Jesus, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (John 1:5).

Prayer: Father, may the same light shine through us today.

Used with permission.