There will be no more gloom. (Isaiah 9:1)
In 2020, During a trip to Israel, I spent a few days in the Galilee. It’s a truly beautiful region. Unlike the desert of the south, Galilee is lush and green in spring, with Mt Tabour and Mount Arbel carpeted with wild flowers that are a feast for the eyes.
Surrounded by such beauty, it’s difficult to imagine the tragedy that once took place here. Centuries before the coming of Christ, Galilee had been the first part of Israel to be ravaged by the Assyrians. They pillaged, plundered and depopulated the region until Galilee was broken, wounded and reeling from the pain. However, in Isaiah 9:1 we read:
“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 honour Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea beyond the Jordan- the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
We can’t help being amazed at the accuracy of the fulfilment of this prophecy as we read through the New Testament Gospels. It was to this same region, centuries after the pillaging by the Assyrians, that God sent His son to live out his childhood and grow into manhood. It was Galilee that became the centre of Jesus’ ministry.
In Galilee, instead of death and suffering and sadness, we read of healings and deliverances that brought great joy to multitudes. We read of water being turned into wine, a Roman Official’s Son being healed, evil spirits being driven out, lepers healed, a boy and a girl being raised to life and the blind being able to see. Surely, ‘a light has dawned’.
Friends, if you identify today more with the old Galilee, the broken Galilee, the empty Galilee, then let your faith rise. ‘A light has dawned’ on the old Galilee and that same light can rise on the empty and broken parts in your life. When that happens there will be ‘no more gloom’. Let the Jesus of Galilee come to your old Galilee and transform it.
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