When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. 21 Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 8:19-9:2
Isaiah is starting to build upon the coming Messiah.
Deep darkness, great light.
Their Messiah was coming! Would they recognize Him? Unfortunately very few did. It’s like if you are in the presence of someone great, you don’t realize it, and sometimes you pinch yourself to make sure it’s all true. Much of the Old Testament was pointing to the coming Messiah. Those who lived during that time knew where He would be coming from, the ancestry He would descend from, and what He would do when He arrived. When the Light finally arrived, many questioned it. They just couldn’t believe the long-awaited Messiah was living among them!
We started out today by talking about light versus darkness. As I write this on the shortest day of the year, in our text the light of day is dawning. You’ve seen that light. It’s barely visible fifteen minutes before the sun peeks out over the horizon, but it’s there. As the sun appears over the horizon, it can be blinding. Theat’s wher ewe want to be, looking straight into the sun. It’ll be worth it.
Read the next few verses to get a sense of where we’re going:
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.