Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Biblical Principle of Darkness

Give glory to the LORD your God Before He causes darkness, And before your feet stumble On the dark mountains, And while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death And makes it dense darkness.  (Jeremiah 13:16)

In God's economy, an economy which all are subject to whether they accept it or not, there comes a time when widespread rebellion will result in a thick darkness representing the judgment of God. This happened to the land of Judah as they fell captive to the Babylonian armies in the 6th Century B.C. God had commissioned Jeremiah to announce that while it was still twilight they needed to seek God in repentance. The phrase, "Give glory to God" is an idiom for confessing ones sin (See Josh. 7:19 and John 9:24). The land of Judah was given a time to turn to God. The brightness was fading and the twilight had fallen. Soon darkness would cover the land and the time of turning would be past.

Jesus Himself validated this principle when He stated, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work," (John 9:4). And again He stated, "Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going," (John 12:35).
Jesus, of course, is referring to the Triune work of God amongst us, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He continued with, "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light," (John 12:36a).

What we can deduce is that there are times when God visits a soul and implores them to consider their ways in the light of God's holiness and law. When we read the Ten Commandments it is certain to all that none of us have lived a life of total perfection; we have severely fallen short. There are splatters of sin all over our lives and more often than not, it is sinful behavior that defines us. When we compare ourselves to the sinlessness of Jesus we see that we do not measure up. This time of illumination, when the Holy Spirit reveals who we really are in the light of Christ, is our time of visitation from God. It is a time to both mourn and a time to rejoice. It is during this time that God calls us to mourn over our sin and believe upon Christ, the light of the world, that we may receive the forgiveness of sin and the inheritance of the Sons of the Light. We need to recognize these times of visitation in our lives. The darkness is coming and soon enough the light will disappear and we may find, like Esau of old, that the time for repentance has passed. "For you know that afterward, when he (Esau) wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears," (Hebrews 12:17). In this case, Esau's opportunity for leadership and the inheritance of his father Isaac's blessing was a one time shot. He rejected it and the blessings spilled out to his brother Jacob. He could not go back and change the situation.

Our lives are like that of Esau. We have a few years on this earth and during those few years we have an opportunity to receive God's blessing, the forgiveness of sin, which results in an eternal inheritance that is reserved in heaven, (1 Pet. 1:4). Again, this time of repentance, or turning from the darkness in our life to the light of Christ, is made available when we realize our fallen condition before God. It is at these times that God is ever drawing us to Him, (John 6:44). It is also at these times the door to eternal life is open.

When darkness comes it sets it's seal upon our consciousness. It is the works of darkness (unrepentant sin) that ever so slowly builds its crust over our eyes, the twilight becoming dimmer day after day until it's light is beyond the horizon and spiritual darkness falls. It is then that we cannot see and we cannot find our way. Sadly, the time of God's visitation has passed and we are left abandoned to ourselves and our works. Isaiah tells us, "Look, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled— This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment, (Isaiah 50:11). Our light, our sparks, are darkness compared to the light of Christ.

But there is Hope. Woven within the post you should have gathered that there is a hope that God has placed within us. If the conviction of sin is still in your life then God is still calling. This is your day, the day of salvation. Your time, the time for repentance and the receiving of God's grace to eternal life. Do not be stubborn and obstinate with God. Do not harden your heart against Him because it just maybe that you will never have the opportunity to turn to Christ ever again.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
(John 3:16-21)

May God bless your desire to turn to Him this very moment in humility and submission. Trust your life to Christ while it is still day, for the night is coming.