Light for the Gentiles
Today’s reading: Joshua 7-8; Luke 2:25-52
34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them. Joshua 8:34-35
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32
God’s focus, as we have seen before, includes not only the Israelites or the Jews, but all the peoples of the earth.
Joshua renews the covenant of God with Israel by reading the entire Book of the Law of Moses. The congregation gathered included not only the men of Israel, but the women, the children, and the sojourners who lived among them. Those sojourners I take to be not related physically to Israel, but merely living among them, perhaps as servants. It is important that they were not excluded from the reading of the law and the renewal of the covenant.
Simeon, who had waited all his life for the coming of the Messiah, met the infant Jesus in the temple. His long-awaited moment had come; he had seen the salvation of the Lord. That salvation was prepared in the presence of all peoples and would be a light for revelation to the Gentiles as well as a glory to God’s people, Israel. Certainly, there is a clear indication that Simeon understood the universal offer of salvation that was being extended to the entire world.
Praise God for sending His Son, Jesus, to save all who believe in Him from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Thank God for granting the sojourners amongst the Israelites the privilege of hearing the Word of God. Thank God for His grace to old Simeon, whose dream of a lifetime was fulfilled and who was allowed to leave us with wise words about the work of Jesus Christ which extended to all peoples, even you and me.