THOUGH I WALK IN DARKNESS
Who is among you that feareth the LORD, That obeyeth the voice of His servant?
Though he walketh in darkness, And hath no light,
Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
Isaiah 50:20 JPS
If we live long enough, each of us will encounter a “suddenly” in our life. It could be the death of a loved one, a divorce, a job loss, an unexpected illness. I remember when my father died suddenly. A friend encouraged me to do a Bible study on the word SUDDENLY. Comfort came as I realized unexpected challenges and darkness come upon everybody. At times, it seems as though heaven is silent, God is silent and answers do not come. Even though our faith encourages us to believe that God can change anything, He remains silent and does not speak in the midst of our pain. Recall 2 Kings 4:27 “And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came near to thrust her away; but the man of God said: 'Let her alone; for her soul is bitter within her; and the LORD HATH HID IT FROM ME and hath not told me.'” This woman had just experienced the death of her son, the son who had been promised by Elijah.
The Lord has hidden His ways. Who are we to say that God should act on our behalf? Who are we to demand anything of God? Isaiah 55:8-9 notes “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” We presently see through a cloud, a veil, the dim glass. One day we will see and understand all things. However, suddenlies occur. Difficulties and disappointments are the way of life.
Why does the Teacher always have to be silent when we take a test? Why can’t there be some word from heaven to ease our pain? Often, in the midst of darkness, I fail to see that I am going through a test. I cannot even identify the enemy, the culprit, the darkness that surrounds me. Yet the Teacher is silent when taking a test. It has to be this way.
God sees you. For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2Chron. 16:9a) I don’t want to fail any of the tests the God brings my way. Am I willing to trust Him? Am I willing to trust God in the dark?
2 Chron. 32:30 "It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David."
On a past trip to Israel, our group took the opportunity to walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel. This experience was one of the most memorable experiences of the tour. We descended down a few steps and entered a dark cave. Some had flashlights, but they were of little use. The entire journey occurred in darkness. The tunnel was just large enough for us to walk through; the tunnel was within inches of my head and on either side of my body. We felt our way along the path in total darkness. After about five minutes, I was tired of this journey. The footing was slippery and rocky. Water depth varied from inches to feet, I could feel the water level at my knees at times. How long had that water been there and how clean was it? The smell was at you would expect - stinky and rank. It was dark, dark, pitch black. If one used a flashlight, it was only to see more tunnel, and only good for a few steps ahead. We knew that the destination would take perhaps a half-hour, but I lost all sense of time. All I knew was to keep walking forward, very carefully, feeling the sides of the tunnel as I walked. I knew eventually we would reach the destination.
Some people sang; others chatted; then silence. We kept walking. It seems as though those in front of us got way ahead of us. At times, those behind us lagged way far away. I had to work at not being fearful. I had to dispel any thoughts from my mind that I would not make it. I had to not think about what was lurking in the stagnant water. I had to trust God. Yet, after perhaps thirty or forty minutes, we ended up at the Pool of Siloam.
The man born blind went and washed there, per Yeshua Jesus' instructions, and he was healed (John 9:1-12). During the last day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, water was drawn from Siloam. Yeshua Jesus referred to this in John 7:37-38 when He said, "If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink...he who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, 'From his inmost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" Siloam-- the place of miracles and blessing.
Sometimes God leads us into a dark place. He asks that we will trust Him as we walk through the valley of darkness, through the valley of the shadow of death. Proverbs 3:5 states “trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.” If we lean on our own understanding, it is as if we are leaning on a broken crutch. We have no ability to remain upright, let alone progress forward.
It is God who clothes the heavens with blackness (Isaiah 50:3). God created evening and morning, the first day. Evening, in God’s economy, comes before the morning (Genesis 1:3, 6,9,14,20,24,31). God’s word makes note “then I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:3) I had the privilege one summer of staying with a lady who grew moon flowers. They happened to grow right outside of the bedroom window. I could not believe that such beautiful flowers bloomed only in the evening. God does give hidden treasures in darkness. Darkness might bring terrible circumstances, but circumstances are temporary and they do not define us. We might plan our ways but God directs our steps (Prov. 16:9). He is an amazing football coach and life coach.
Sometimes we just have to go through the night. We have to endure and get our praise on as Paul and Silas did when they were in jail. “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and SUDDENLY there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.” (Acts 16:25-26)
Dear saint, if you are in the darkness, praise Him, wait for the SUDDENLY. It will come.
"So, let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."