Jesus came to bring us out of our bondage, sorrow and night into his freedom, joy and light. Both the Bible and the news channels testify that we dwell in the midst of darkness and, even worse, that darkness dwells in us. Isaiah 9:2 testifies that “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” This verse refers originally to the gloom and distress experienced by Israel when they fell under God’s discipline. Isaiah ministered during the dismal days before and after the fall of Israel when they were crushed by the Assyrian army. Israel’s dark hearts and sinful actions resulted in Israel’s dark circumstances and national destruction. But Isaiah foresaw a day of deliverance and light for God’s people. The deliverance that Isaiah foretold, which was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, is experienced by Christians today.

Isaiah saw that God would bring renewed joy to the nation of Israel and defeat their enemies. How would this happen? Through the birth of a royal son, a descendant of King David. Jesus is the Son who was given, who is our wonderful counselor and prince of peace, whose eternal kingdom is upheld with true justice and righteousness. Reading this, we can easily recognize how Jesus is the savior who satisfies our greatest needs!

Our greatest enemy is neither a nation nor a terrorist organization, but Satan himself, who is likened to a fierce lion seeking someone to devour or a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns. He would destroy us if he could. But he cannot! His defeat by Jesus was foretold all the way back in Genesis 3:15, was effected at the cross of Calvary and will be finalized when Jesus returns.

We not only need a deliverer, but a king who will right every wrong. Our society is plagued with injustice. The wicked often go unpunished, the weak are oppressed, the poor neglected and the righteous persecuted. Though the justice system in America is among the best this world has ever seen, it will never fix this reality. No human agency is capable of resolving this problem. Only someone who is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-righteous can bring about full and final justice for all.

For those who are overwhelmed by despair and darkness, Isaiah’s prophecy is an invitation to find freedom and joy in Christ. For those who have already been called out of darkness into his marvelous light, this prophecy is an encouragement to rejoice before him. Have you seen the great light of Jesus which conquers the darkness?