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As Different as Night n Day

September 3, 2023

Isaiah 9:2-3; Mark 9:3; Acts 9:3; Romans 9:3
Isaiah- The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. The light has shined on those who lived in the land of the shadow of death. 3 You have multiplied the nation. You have increased their joy. Mark-His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Acts-As he traveled, he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him Romans – For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers’ sake, my relatives according to the flesh

Happy Birthday! Some people get up very early on their birthday to start the celebration. The sane people sleep in as long as they can. God has a wonderful sense of humor, so he created some to love the sunrise and some to love the sunset. My whole life I have been a member of the latter; up until a year ago. My working situation has forced me to get up before sunrise, and gradually and begrudgingly, I have learned to not hate the mornings. In today’s verses from 4 separate Books, God so clearly makes a distinction between light and darkness.

   Isaiah 9:2-3 is a prophecy about the Messiah’s birth (Jesus fulfilled this prophecy).”The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”

Mark 9 is speaking of when that same Messiah (Jesus) was “transfigured” from His earthly body to His heavenly body so much so that His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.”

Acts 9 is the story of when Jesus, after He had ascended into heaven, appeared to Saul as “a light from the sky shone around him.” (Saul)

In 3 different books with the same birthday Bible verse, we see a super cool synergetic story over hundreds of years. Isaiah prophesied of a great light, Jesus came to earth and appeared as that great light, once to 3 of His disciples (Mark) and once to a loathsome murderer named Saul (Acts). One of the joys I get from reading His Word is discovering how much symmetry there is all throughout the Bible.

    That’s cool. 3 separate verses with light and dark references. So what?  Weeeeell, I am glad you asked. Another September 3rd birthday Bible verse gives us a glimpse into the life transformation that occurs when sinners respond to the great light of truth. Let’s do a short little comparison between Saul (the unbeliever) and Paul (missionary extraordinaire).

Powerful                                             Weak

Prestigious                                         Lowest

Prideful                                               Humble

Pursued his enemies                         Forgave his enemies

Persecuted both men & women      Loved everyone

Murderer                                            Wants to die for others

Imprisoned others                             Was himself imprisoned

Was born into the “chosen” race     Was adopted by heavenly Father

Steadfastly followed the Law           Preached salvation by grace

Romans – “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,

Paul had just wrote a complete doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in chapters 1-8. Now he is taking a short break and wants to discuss the future of his race (flesh)- the Jewish nation. He completely understands the plight of any individual who does not accept God’s grace and is so overwhelmed with grief for them that he wishes he himself, would spend eternity in hell so those unsaved Israelites, could go to heaven. In a span of one lifetime, Saul goes from killing to being willing to give up his own life for others. One person. 2 names. 2 totally different people. That is what the light of truth does.

   Whether you rose early this morning or a little later, remember that each day brings an opportunity to realize the goodness of God. We all are sinners with the opportunity to be saved by grace. No one nation will be saved corporately but all can be saved individually. When you see a sunrise, thank God for the light of truth He has brought into your life.

Dave R

    ’69 / ’83   Quarryville  PA

Birth year / spiritual birth year / hometown

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