Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan – The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Many times in his book Isaiah speaks of the blessings of Israel being extended to the nations. In Isaiah’s day (and probably for several centuries before that) the north of the land of Israel was occupied by other nations with whom the Israelites had to share it, because they had not completely removed the previous inhabitants in the years after the exodus. Here, Isaiah looks forward to when those who were not part of Israel would see God at work opening up the way for them to be included in God’s family. Matthew 4.14-16 applies this to the ministry of Jesus in Galilee (which was an ethnically mixed area in the first century AD), but of course we know God has extended his plan of salvation to include us too! That was always his plan (see for example Isaiah 11.10, 45.22, 49.6 and 55.5), and the book of Acts describes how Jesus’ disciples set about the task of taking the good news to foreigners like you and me.
Isaiah 9:1-2 (04.08.21)