In the First Light: The Rule and Reign of God

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David Bahn-Reflections Podcast 

Genesis 1:3-4 

 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. 

Luke 2:8-14

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Fire in the Sky | Phoenix, AZ | November 2022

I cringe just a little at the closing line of this song. It’s not that I don’t believe that the culmination of God’s redemption story will be praiseworthy. Nor is it that I don’t believe angels will rejoice on that Great Last Day. But I’m just not certain that the song of the angels will be greater than that which was sung on the night Jesus was born.

Maybe their song will be a greater song on that Great Last Day. After all, the angels will take an active part in the events of that day. On that day, God “will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven” (Mark 13:27). It will be a grand day, the culmination of all that God had planned from the foundation of time. The trumpet will sound. The dead will be raised. We will be forever with our Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:52).

The new heaven and the new earth will become our eternal reality. No longer will the glory of God be hidden. No longer will we need to live by faith. We will see Jesus for who he truly is. Every knee will bow – some under duress, others in delightful worship.

The problem I have with the final thought of this song is the unspoken implication that Jesus is not now reigning. In fact, however, he is. Over all things. Nothing escapes his notice. Nothing is apart from his providential care and sovereign rule. Thankfully God also rules in grace. The classic definition of the Kingdom of God is, the gracious reign and rule of Jesus in the heart of the believer.

Jesus is ruling even now in our hearts, and for the good of all by his grace. He will return on the Great Last Day and we will forever be with him. Sin, death, and the devil will no more plague us. That will indeed be a great and glorious day. And we will join with the angels and all believers singing God’s praises forever. He is truly worthy of all praise and honor – not just because of his sovereignty, but also, and maybe even more because of his grace.

In the First Light

In the first light of a new day
No one knew He had arrived
Things continued as they had been
While a newborn softly cried.
But the heavens wrapped in wonder
Knew the meaning of His birth
In the weakness of a baby
They knew God had come to earth.

As His mother held him closely,
It was hard to understand
That this baby not yet speaking
Was the Word of God to man.
He would tell them of His kingdom,
But their hearts would not believe
They would hate Him and in anger
They would nail Him to a tree.

But the sadness would be broken
As the song of life arose
And the First born of creation
Would ascend and take his throne.
He had left it to redeem us,
But before His life began
He knew He’d come back not as a baby
But as The Lord of ev’ry man.

Hear the angels as they’re singing
On the morning of His birth
But how much greater will our song be
When He comes again to earth
When He comes again

Hear the angels as they’re singing
On the morning of His birth
But how much greater will our song be
When He comes again to Earth
When He comes to rule the Earth!
When He comes back, When He comes back
To rule the Earth!

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Robert John Kauflin
In the First Light lyrics © Bridge Building Music, Organon Key Music

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