24 September 2023
Isaiah 49:6 '[God] says, "You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."' (NLT)
Here is an amazing promise. God is making this pledge prophetically to Jesus, his Son, hundreds of years before Jesus appears on this earth. Not only will Jesus be the rescuer of his own people, Israel, he will also be the light to the non-Jewish people of the world. In fact, the whole world will be illuminated by his presence, his example, his word and his sacrifice. As with many promised in the Bible, it is given first to one person but then becomes applicable to others who follow in that person's footsteps, or under their covering. God made many promises to Abraham, for example, intending that they would also be fulfilled by every 'child of Abraham' to follow. Today, we as spiritual children of Abraham, inheritors of his life of faith, inherit those blessings. In a similar way, the promise made to the Messiah here in Isaiah 49 is also intended for the people who will place their faith in him and seek to live like him, acting on his behalf. That's you and me. God wants us to be a light to the spiritual Gentiles -- those who are, at this moment, out of touch with God and outside the household of faith. He wants us to represent God's salvation even to the furthest reaches of the earth. There's another level to it, too. God doesn't want us simply to impact the 'preserved ones of Israel', that is, the people already within the faith. He wants us to represent him in a potent way to the wider world. He is promising us influence not just within the church but within the society at large. So, don't settle for what God has already declared is 'too small' for you. Start looking for, praying for and working toward the true influence he has called you to inherit.
Prayer: 'Father, I believe that this promise is for me, through Jesus and what he did for me on the cross. I believe that you have destined me not just to have influence inside the church, but to impact the wider world. Help me to truly change the scene in my world, and not to settle for small degrees of influence.'
© Mal Fletcher 2003-2004