This prophecy from Isaiah is quoted in Matthew 4, and there is quite a grammatical puzzle in the wording. In the time of the New Testament, it would make sense to use the past tense “have seen,” for the people had indeed seen Jesus, the light of the world. Yet would it not make sense that as a prophecy in Isaiah the verb be in the future tense? After all, Isaiah was writing about what had not yet happened. Would it not have been better for him to have written, “The people will see a great light?”
This is one of the many things I love about God. His promises are sure. They are rock solid, one hundred percent guaranteed. You can take them to the bank. So certain are the promises of God that the prophet Isaiah could use the past tense to describe an event that was still nearly 800 years in his future.
Usually the best I can do when our children ask to go somewhere special is to say, “We will see,” or “We will try,” or more likely, “Let me talk with your mother.” They get beside themselves if I actually commit by saying, “Okay, we will go.” Can you imagine the confidence I would need to have to say, “We have gone to the pool later today” as if it were an already accomplished fact?
Lord, it is so comforting, so strengthening to know that Your promises are sure. I know I can count on You and Your word. May Your words become my flesh, Your promises the very strength of my life. In the name of Jesus, Who has proved Your faithfulness beyond measure, amen.
Copyright © 2013 by Steven R. Perkins