To Listen and Shine

This week I am going to be posting on the passage in Isaiah 62 that I quoted in “Anniversary of Love“.  It is an amazing passage, with each verse holding such truths to integrate into our lives — at least, into mine!  So rather than spend any more time chatting about it, let’s jump right in!

“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.”  (Is.62:1)

A little history:  when Isaiah wrote these verses, he was referring to Israel as a nation.  Thus, the feminine pronouns.  Israel would be in captivity to Babylon, but Isaiah promised a hope for the people — the hope that they would one day be a light to all nations, rather than the desolate, forsaken land they were at the time.  So for the sake of Zion and Jerusalem he didn’t keep silent, because he knew that if he was quiet, the righteousness of the nation would never shine forth.

There are a couple ways I could take this verse, and I’ll go into two of them.  The first is the matter of Silence, the second, the matter of Light.

Silence.  Sometimes it’s just what we need; other times, it is exactly the opposite.  That is the case with this verse.  There are times when God is not silent with us, but unbearably loud.  It may seem like we are doing something wrong at every turn, that He is correcting us in everything, and through people we would rather not receive it from!  But it is for our sake.  Just as Isaiah proclaimed the light of righteousness to Israel for their own good, so God encourages us to be a light — and He can’t do that by being silent.  We can’t expect all the feel-good emotions to get us where He needs us to be.  Oswald Chambers wrote:

Have you ever heard the Master say a hard word?  If you have not, I question whether you have heard Him say anything.  Jesus Christ says a great deal that we listen to , but do not hear; when we do hear, His words are amazingly hard… Have I ever heard Jesus say a hard word?  Has He said something personally to me to which I have deliberately listened?  Not something I can expound on or say this and that about, but something I have heard Him say to me?”  My Utmost For His Highest, pg. 168

The second aspect of this verse is the Light.  When God speaks into our lives and changes us, it so that we shine for Him.  It is so that our righteousness does go forth as brightness, and our salvation is  lifted up like a burning torch.  But this only comes after we are willing to listen to His voice.  Sometimes in silence… sometimes in the whirlwind.  But that is His goal — to make us the candles that He lights in the world.

“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  (Matt.5:14-16)

First, listen.  Then, shine your light.

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2 Responses

  1. Wow. Those are beautiful insights, Phylicia.
    I have never seen the correlation between silence and light. Thanks for the encouragement, friend! 🙂

    God bless you this day.

  2. Yes, when Jesus speaks, I sometimes cannot do anything but listen and pray, “Have mercy on me, Lord.” Especially since I’m reading Matthew right now, I feel that way often. This is an encouraging post. Thanks.

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