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Luke 1:78 (NASB)

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,


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Bible Commentary

Luke 1:78 is a Bible verse from the New Testament where Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied after his son’s birth about the fulfillment of God’s holy covenant.

To put this verse in context, let’s read all of Zacharias’ prophecy after the miraculous birth of his son, known as John the Baptist.

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Luke 1:68-79

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—
71 Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To show mercy toward our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

This is an amazing prophecy and reaffirmation of God’s promise to His people. The birth of John was part of its fulfillment, for John actually announced and introduced Jesus as the Savior of the world.

Have you ever just wished and prayed that you could freely work in the gifts and calling of God without hindrance, like financial restrictions or interference from other people? You’ve probably played the game, “What would I do if money and time weren’t an issue?”

This was Israel’s long-awaited hope and dream from Luke 1:74-75 above,

“To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.

That’s what Zacharias was announcing here, that their long-awaited prayers—personally and corporately—had been answered. God opened the once-barren womb of Elizabeth and she conceived and gave birth to John.

This was a long-awaited personal hope and prayer God fulfilled, but it wasn’t only for Zacharias and Elizabeth. God gave them a son for their sake yes, but also to fulfill His promise to His people, the nation of Israel.

DavidNorman-1Corinthians16-14

It is the same for you and me. Whatever gifting and calling God has placed in your heart, He gave it to you not just for your sake, but for the sake of many.

It may have been a long wait. Maybe it’s been years, or even decades that you’ve been praying and hoping for the freedom to live the dream God put in your heart.

Unlocking the Truth - Sunrise

Brother and sister, know this. God also has been eagerly waiting just as we have, to empower us in our life’s calling. But He also has been hindered—by unbelief and the unfaithfulness of His bride.

And yet despite all of our failures, God’s mercy reigns.

Luke 1:78-79
“Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

The Sunrise—Jesus Christ—has already visited us. His light shines in and through us. The dream in our heart is Him calling us. 

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The word “darkness” in Luke 1:79 in the Greek means: obscurity; darkness. We yearn to be free from obscurity to be free to walk in our true calling, where we can be in the light with Him and be empowered by Him.

The word “shadow” in verse 79 in the Greek means: darkness of error. We must seek the truth to find the error. It keeps us in the shadows, either in the shadow of someone else or in the darkness of error.

Jesus Christ eagerly waits to shine through us, when the error has been moved out of the way. (We must acknowledge it is there before we can take responsibility.) When we do, God’s peace will take its place in our hearts and we can receive His tender mercy.

We must participate with Him so His light can rise in us. Sunrise.

Then just like the sun on the horizon, it will rise gradually but quickly.

Let’s face the darkness in our hearts, place it at the cross where it belongs and make way for the Sunrise. There is freedom in the Light. Hallelujah!

Study the Bible verse of Luke 1:78 and receive the tender mercy of our God.

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