“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 text for today starts out by naming the people of Zebulun and Naphtali and that they were too familiar with wars and conflicts. In fact, their land and homes had become places of darkness, desolation and wilderness. However, hope was alive! The devotional goes into tell us about “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S.Lewis. Which happens to be one of my favorite authors. In this story, four children are sent to the countryside to live with relatives because their home was too close to active war zones during WWII. I will include a three-minute clip of the movie that directly relates to today’s text, and it too shows us that Hope is alive! Two stories happening in different time periods, one fictional and the other not. We also have the story of Jesus which is the focal point of our Lenten Study. The story of Jesus is absolutely about HOPE! Jesus is the LIGHT that drives darkness away. As we look at these three different situations, the sons of Jacob (Zebulun and Naphtali) living in a place of darkness; The four children in C.S.Lewis’ story of Narnia, they too are faced with the darkness of war and relocation. And most especially the story of Jesus, He is our HOPE! Jesus came into this world to be THE LIGHT of the world. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%208:12&version=NIV
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” ~John 1:5 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%201:5&version=NIV
Are there places near and dear to you that has been ravaged by conflict and/or dissension? What might hope look like in those situations? For me, it seems like there’s an endless list of conflicts and darkness in the world. I watched the CNN Town Hall with students and survivors of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida that happened on February 14, 2018, I saw hope in the willingness to have civil discussions and conversations with one another, I do wish people would talk and listen, showing respect for one another and to acknowledge that for one person to be right, doesn’t mean the other person has to be wrong. The HOPE we need is JESUS!
I have provided some additional information and links below if you are interested in more detail and Zebulon and Naphtali.
~Blessings and Peace~
Zebulun (also Zebulon, Zabulon or Zaboules; Hebrew: זְבֻלוּן or זְבוּלֻן or זְבוּלוּן, Tiberian Hebrew Zəḇūlūn, Standard HebrewZevulun/Zvulun) was, according to the Books of Genesis and Numbers, the sixth and last son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Zebulun.
“, Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.” ~Genesis 30:20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Genesis%2030:20&version=NIV
According to the Book of Genesis, Naphtali(/ˈnæftəlaɪ/; Hebrew: נַפְתָּלִי, Modern Naftali, Tiberian Nap̄tālî, “my struggle”) was the sixth son of Jacob and second son with Bilhah. He was the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Naphtali.
“Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali.” ~Genesis 30:7-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Genesis%2030:7-8&version=NIV