“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.”
God had exercised great patience with His people who at this time rejected Isaiah’s prophetic messages. There were those who were influencing the people to seek out mediums and spiritualists, even attempting to consult with the dead on behalf of the living, instead of seeking God and His wisdom. Wise and foolish counsel are as different as light and darkness. The people had foolishly chosen the instruction of darkness over the wisdom of God’s Word.
Isaiah had already reasoned with the people: “Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord“ (Isaiah 2:5). He would later go on to prophesy “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned“ (Isaiah 9:2).
The Light of God’s Word Secures Future Blessings
The law and testimony are a reference to Isaiah’s teaching and prophetic words, which upheld and confirmed God’s written Law. The people have been instructed that by paying attention to his teaching and prophetic messages from the Lord they will have real light to guide them. The dawn pictures the rise of future blessing and hope. It is only those who receive the light of God’s Word, and turn away from the dark counsel of occultism, mediums, and spiritualists, that are promised the dawning of a new day of blessings.
I’m reminded of David who said “I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:104-105). David considered every way but God’s way to be the wrong way. This is the wisest counsel anyone can follow, and it always leads to future blessings even in the darkest of times.
David understood the dangers of seeking instruction from other sources. He was loyal to God and chose to align himself with His written word regardless of what others were doing. He carefully pondered the path for his feet; choosing to live his life in the light of God’s counsel. He’s even said “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors“ (Psalm 119:24).
Guided By The Light
Picture yourself in a dark room in your own home. Navigating the way through the darkness at night can easily cause you to stumble over the very furniture you placed in that room. You instantly gain your bearings when the light is turned on. You now know where you are and what you’ve stumbled over. Introducing light into darkness suddenly helps you get properly oriented. Light is also an excellent metaphor for understanding.
God’s Word is a light in the midst of a dark world. Like a lighthouse helping captains gain their bearings, keeping their ships from running aground on the rocks at night; God’s Word will guide any individual, family or nation, helping them understand where they are and guide them in making wise decisions as they navigate the complexities of life, and continue doing God’s will on the earth as it is in heaven.
Peters words to the Church are helpful in this regard: “We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
Peter’s concern here if for the Church to continue in the covenant with God, and establishing His kingdom influence on the earth through the Great Commission. Paying close attention to the words handed down to us will ensure The Church’s adherence to the law and the testimony, as we proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Build on The Light of God’s Word
Choose to follow the instructions of God’s Word regardless of the opinions of others. God is light and there is no darkness in Him, so it stands to reason that every word He speaks sheds light on every situation. David knew this quite well when he said “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9). He also said: “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).
Your choices though not always easy are really quite simple. You must choose between the light of life or the darkness of death to guide you. The Scriptures offer no other choices in life. The people of Isaiah’s day turned from the light of God’s Word and chose to follow the dark counsel of the culture around them, forfeiting any future hope of blessings. The late Dr. Greg Bahnsen said: “Will your life be founded upon the sure rock of God’s word or in the ruinous sands of independent human opinion?”
Follow Christ who is the light of life; establish your life on Him. Follow the clear path of Jesus and His apostles and build on solid ground (see Matthew 7:24-25). Be a light to those around you, let God’s Word help you gain your bearings, Make your hope for the future a sure thing, and Be Encouraged! -JSP