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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: June 11, 2024

“Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” So says the prophet Isaiah in our Old Testament reading this morning. And I very much love the way this is phrased. It’s a beautiful swirling of tenses and tension, past and present and future all wrapped up into one. The old things have gone away, the new things are now here. God has spoken them into existence. And yet, God’s people are still waiting to see them, and He will tell them when those things are before their eyes. So He has given them Light, though they don’t yet see it, but they will. He has given them the Light who will open the eyes of the blind and free the prisoners from the darkness of sin’s dungeon.

What does all this mean? Why does God speak this way? The answer is quite simple. There is nothing as certain in the universe as God’s promise. It is more certain than the sun rising in the east, more certain than drawing oxygen out of the air the next time you breathe, more certain than death and taxes. So when God declares that He will do something, He has done something. You’re not waiting for it to happen, really. You’re waiting to see it.

So for the Israelites, even when the darkness surrounded, the darkness had lifted because God had sworn to send them His Son who would pierce the light of His righteousness into the lightless prison. And for you, living in the days after the arrival of Christ, even when the darkness surrounds you, the darkness is no more. It has already perished, conquered by the shining glory of Christ’s resurrected face. Because God has sworn that the light of Christ’s forgiveness, mercy and victory will destroy the darkness forever on the day when He lifts you up from the grave, then it’s certain. It’s so certain you can view it as something that has already happened. So don’t fear the darkness that howls and screams in your direction. The darkness is already dead. The former things are gone. And the new things, the love, the favor, the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ, they’re already here. One day soon you will see them all.

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