December 6 - Messiah - Isaiah 60:1-3

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 6 - Messiah - Isaiah 60:1-3

Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

One thing Handel was a master at and is seen (or heard) throughout Messiah is text painting.  When you hear words or phrases, the music paints those so the listener has a complete aural experience.  If the text says “the crooked shall be made straight,” the music used on the word crooked will alternate between notes, while that used on the word straight will be one long tone.  In this passage from Isaiah 60, darkness covers the earth until the Lord arises!  The music ascends on the word glory to the top of the singer’s range.  If you pay attention, you will be thrilled when you heard what Handel does.

In autumn in the Midwest, both sunrise and sunset are filled with beautiful colors.  People have told me this is due to particles from harvest season in the atmosphere and when winter finally sets in and the air completely dries out, we will see less color.

Sunrise is an amazing sight to see as brilliant oranges and golds, reds and yellows break through the darkness revealing daylight.  Isaiah shows us that imagery in these words.  Darkness has filled the earth; it even fills the hearts of the people.  However, there is no darkness that can hold out against the light of the Lord when He arises.  Isaiah offered hope to the Israelites who felt as if they were surrounded by utter darkness in the world.  We have that same hope. When we feel as if everything around us is bleak and there seems to be no hope, the light of the Lord arises within us.  We will see his glory.

The Israelites were to be a light to the Gentiles, yet when they couldn’t because they were so caught up in their own despair, God made another way.  The Messiah would bring light to their darkness.  The Gentiles and all the kings of the earth will find their way to His light and new life.