This Day in History: 0000-12-09

December 9 – Isaiah 60:1-3 & 6

Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the Glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the Lord.

There are a few prophesies covered in these verses from Isaiah, so let’s look at one of them today and the other tomorrow.

The Prophesies –

  1. The “glory of the Lord” would rise over Jerusalem at the coming of Messiah (Translation = the “star” over Israel would announce the birth of the Christ)
  1. Mighty kings would come in caravans bringing gifts of gold and frankincense to worship the Messiah after seeing the star.

Today we’ll talk about the star. Here are a few other passages that prophesied the rising of the star in connection with the coming of the Christ.

Numbers 24:17 – I see Him, but not here and now. I perceive Him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob: a scepter will emerge from Israel…

Isaiah 9:1-6 – Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine…For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Fulfillment –

Matthew 2:1-16 – Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw His star as it rose, and we have come to worship Him…”
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!

Matthew 4:14-16 – This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah: In the land of Zebulan and of Naphtali…the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light…

Revelation 22:16 – “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the Bright and Morning Star.”

Prophesies like this one are my favorite because they are fulfilled both literally and figuratively through the birth of Jesus. There was what appeared to be a literal star (though there is a lot of fascinating speculation about what it actually was (think Shekinah Glory)) which appeared over Israel when Jesus was born. It was seen by the Magi from far off and led them to travel to Jerusalem seeking the promised King of the Jews. After they left Jerusalem it went on to lead them all the way to the actual house in which Joseph and Mary lived with Jesus. If it was an actual star, that was one unique star!

And then there is the more figurative fulfillment of this prophecy. In Revelation, Jesus is described as the Bright and Morning Star. In a few days, we’ll talk about how He is the heir to the throne of David, or as our passage in Numbers described Him, the Scepter that emerges from Israel.

When Jesus was born, He brought with Him the dawn of a new era in this world. The dark time of silence from the Lord had ended. The time of separation from God and binding oppression to sin would soon be defeated because that little baby would grow up to become the perfect sacrifice that set us free! As that tiny baby lay in that manger, snugly wrapped in swaddling clothes, a new and glorious morn broke through. May we fall on our knees in praise!

Psalms 108:5 – Be exalted, oh God, above the highest heavens. May Your glory shine over all the earth!