Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD. – Isaiah 60:1-6
“Rise and shine!” These words would echo throughout the house and rouse my brother, sisters and me from our sleep. In the same way that the sun was dawning on a new day and bringing light to the world, my mom was calling us to action. She didn’t want us to miss all that the new day had to offer. It was time to “rise and shine.”
As the prophet Isaiah wrote these words to the Jewish people, he was calling them to wake up spiritually. He wrote, “Darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples.” The prophets often used pictures of darkness and sleep to describe the sinful condition and situations in which the people were living. They had shut out God, the Light, from their lives. They chose to live apart from God which brought hurt and heartache… and darkness. These people needed help.
And God did help. Now the light was dawning. Jesus Christ was coming into the world. And just like the dawning of a new day rouses people from sleep, the coming of Jesus would bring about a spiritual awakening for his people. A new relationship, based on forgiveness and trust, would be established. God’s people would live by faith.
The Lord had more information for his Old Testament people. The light and promises that Christ was bringing was not only for them. His promise of light and salvation were for all people. The whole world would see what God had done and be drawn by his wonderful love to share in his amazing blessings. One fulfillment of this prophecy was the coming of the Magi from the East to worship Jesus. They followed a star to Bethlehem and brought gifts to worship the Christ Child (Matthew 2:1-12).
This prophecy is also fulfilled today as you hear these words of your God to arise and shine. Let your heart throb and swell with joy. The light of Christ drives the darkness of sin from your heart and life. God’s promises in Christ are for you. Give thanks and praise to the LORD for his glory that rises upon you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to be honest with you about my sin and my great need for your help. Shine the light of your Word in my heart and lead me to put my trust in you. Open my eyes to see your great glory through Jesus who is my Light and Salvation. Amen.