Twilight: The Comfort of Israel
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The Prince of Peace, the Son of David, was announced by Isaiah. The story of his coming was proclaimed by the evangelists, each with a different emphasis. Jesus made God's kingship real in this world. Today, the kingdom is here—and it is coming.
He was waiting for the consolation of Israel.... "My eyes have seen your salvation" (Luke 2:25, 30).
Simeon is often pictured as an old man who can finally die in peace because he has seen God's salvation. But that's too individualistic.
Simeon represents faithful Israel. He (and the prophetess Anna) speak for the few who believed that God would give what he promised through Isaiah. He sings the swan song of old Israel.
Isaiah said, "Comfort, comfort my people" (40: 1). But when? When will the day come that Israel is comforted?
"Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people" (Isa. 49:13).
And Simeon sighs and prays: "How long, 0 Lord? I am waiting for the consolation, the comfort of Israel."
Then the Spirit brings Simeon to the temple. The old man sees the young woman with the baby. He takes the infant from Mary. (She knows a prophet when she sees one.) Filled with the Spirit, he cries out: "My eyes have seen your salvation." Now he sees what he hoped for. This baby Jesus is the consolation of Israel.
Some seem to teach that God has a different consolation for Israel—something or someone other than the Messiah he gave to all of us. That's misleading. Jesus is the hope and comfort first of all for Israel, and then for the whole world. Through Simeon, the watchman of the Old Covenant, Israel greets her Savior.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version
Be sure to read the "Preface" and the "Acknowledgments" by the author.