24 Days of Advent Scripture Devotionals

Day 15 – The Dayspring From On High

Forest Sunrise - Albert Bierstadt

Forest Sunrise – Albert Bierstadt

Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. – Isaiah 9:2

Have you ever stayed up all night to await the sunrise? Once the darkest part of the night arrives it seems that moment will never come. You may decide to sleep and then miss the beauty.

A sunrise takes time. The darkness slowly becomes less dark. Then the blueish hues start to appear and then purple and pink. The sky becomes much brighter with added colors and reflections still before the sun has actually risen. And then suddenly, there it is. Most of the time you miss the appearance but then you can’t miss that bright gleam of the red, rising sun.

The Messiah is prophesied to be a light, a great light; and he came like the sunrise. For Israel, the time was dark and had been for a long time. People were waiting for the Messiah but very few were watching closely for the signs; most missed his appearance. He came softly, quietly, humbly and without any fanfare.

On the mountain, when God revealed himself to Moses, he told him “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Exodus 33:20) and Paul describes the Holy One as “dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:16). But the writer of Hebrews 1 describes the Son of God as “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person”.

No sinner can ever stand in the presence of a Holy God and live. And yet the Son set aside that glory and humbled himself and was born in the flesh, a human being whom we could see, hear and touch. He came to us just as that sunrise, approachable and allowing us to see his beauty, welcoming us to look and listen.

The last prophecy we have in scripture before the birth of Jesus was given by Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, who had been unable to speak until he spoke the words “His name is John” and then prophesied about his son and about Jesus, the Messiah, the Dayspring (rising sun).

Luke 1:76-79

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,

Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Malachi 4:2

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;

Hymn: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

What an amazing Christmas carol this is! Charles Wesley wrote these beautiful words in 1739 and we sing them to a tune by Felix Mendelsohhn, arranged by William H. Cummings.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King,
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that we no more may die,
Born to raise us from the earth,
Born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

About 24 Verses

24 Verses is a blog advent calendar with one verse of scripture per day from December 1 through December 24. Each day we will feature a verse of scripture related to the Messiah's birth, death and resurrection.

Use the navigation links in the sidebar to follow each day or look at scriptures from the different books of the Bible.


  1. Jerry Jones says