A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.Luke 2:32(KJV)
Simeon was a righteous man who had been promised by God that he would not die before he had seen with his own eyes the promised Hope of Israel, the appointed Messiah Who would save His people from their sin. Simeon had been given a promise from God that he would not die until he had seen the One for whom all Israel was waiting; the Seed of the woman, the Messiah of Israel, the Servant of God, the Saviour of the whole world.
He lived in Jerusalem amidst the rebellious apostasy and gross unbelief that had developed in the nation of Israel for many generations. But Simeon kept his heart comforted and his hope in God alive by looking, day by day, for the consolation of Israel and comforting his heart knowing that he would not die before he had seen the Saviour.
The Spirit of God was on this dear man whom God had chosen to prophesy of the arrival of the Light of the world - the true Light which lighteth every man that is born into this world. He was to prophecy that this child would be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and would be the glory of God's people, Israel.
And as Simeon visited the Temple of God that day, behold he saw Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus Whom they had brought to the Temple for both circumcision and dedication, as required by the Jewish Law.
No doubt, when Simeon saw Mary with the baby Jesus, his heart was stirred by the Holy Spirit so that he would take the baby into his arms and sing his memorable song of praise and thanksgiving: "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples - a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people, Israel." Simeon would also declare to his mother: "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed. A sword will pierce even your own soul, so that the inner thoughts of many people might be revealed."
Simeon was a righteous man who had been promised by God that he would not die before he had seen the promised Hope of Israel, and his faith in God's Word was not disappointed. Today, we have the full and final revelation of God in the inspired Word of God. Let us, like Simeon, take all that God has written in His Word to heart and believe with childlike expectation that our eyes will soon see our Saviour, as we wait for Christ's any day return in the clouds for His Church.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful witness of this life of Simeon who demonstrated a childlike trust in You and expected Your Word to be fulfilled to the letter. Thank You that Jesus is that Light to the Gentiles and thank You that the light of His love and forgiveness has shone into my heart so that I am saved by grace through faith in Him. In Jesus' name, AMEN.