Light to those in darkness
In the last part of Zechariah’s prophecy, he turns to speak over his son, John. He prophecies his role in God’s plan to bring salvation to His people. These are powerful words of promise: salvation, forgiveness, tender mercy. He draws attention to what it’s like to experience these things from God. It’s like a sunrise.
Are you in darkness today? Is your life in a season or a moment that feels like night? Maybe you don’t know where to go or what to do. Maybe your feelings are overwhelming. You might even be wondering if this season will ever end. You are looking for the sunrise. And just as the sun faithfully rises every morning, so God will faithfully bring His word to pass.
As you read the verses today, imagine the sunrise. That is what it is like to trust God through the night and see Him come through at dawn.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
For to Us a Child Is Born
1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.