In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light amidst the darkness. From where did this darkness come? Does it exist on its own or is there any other power than God has that has birthed it? The Gospel of John explains the role of our Sovereign God in creating all that is visible and invisible in the universe. The light has got such power, that darkness could not overcome it. In other words, only in the absence of light, the dark survives, and when the light flashes, it disappears.
Through him all things were made; without Him, nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.John 1:3-5
When the light wiped out the darkness, God separated the light from the dark, and He called the light day and called the darkness night. Based on the darkness, we understand that it is night. Even during the time of the new moon, things are visible to some extent. Regarding the works of His Father, Jesus said,
As long as it is the day, we must do the works of him who sent me. The night is coming, when no one can work.John 9:4
To the human mind, the best plausible thing to explain the darkness is nighttime. The night that Jesus mentioned is the night that we cannot understand in today’s context. In the present scenario, the devil can only blind the people to not allow them to see the light of the Gospel, but he cannot dominate the light. We cannot compare this blindness to the coming darkness.
I Am With You
Before the birth of Jesus, people lived in the darkness, and the scripture says that they all saw the light, and God called them to the light out of the dark (Isaiah 9:12). Further, Jesus says that while I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When Jesus says that “..while I am in the world”, it does appear that He is not going to be with us forever. However, on reading the below verse we may wonder does Jesus conceal some part of the truth?
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Matthew 28:20
He will be with us till the end of this world, but the world will not exist forever. When this world and everything in it goes away, God will come as a judge to take His people with Him to His Kingdom while He throws the wicked into the pit where the fire is never put off. While God created Good things, He also created evil for the day of trouble (Proverbs 16:4).
Jesus said that when the night comes, no one can do the work of His Father. When Jesus lives in this world, darkness was not able to overcome Him (John 14:19). Jesus, by telling us that the night is coming, is intimating that the light of this world would sit on His throne to judge this world. While Jesus lived in this world, He explained the need for Him going back to His Father.
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.John 16:7
The word of God became flesh and lived amongst us, but it was necessary for Him to go back to His Father, to come back in His Spirit to dwell in the hearts of His children. Subsequently, the God who is the Spirt has to go back to His Kingdom to come back as a Judge. The prophet Amos narrated the coming night, referring to a famine.
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD,Amos 8:11
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.
No one can do the work of God. None can hear the words of the Lord, and we will not have the light to break through the darkness. The word of God which is the lamp for our feet, and the light for our paths, will not be available during the night that Jesus had mentioned. We do not know the exact duration of the night that is going to come, but we know for sure that our Lord will come with the sound of the trumpet as lightning, piercing through that darkness to judge His people, whom He has created in His image.
Work of the Darkness
Some people opt to remain in the darkness to fulfil their evil desires and do not want the light. During the night, they look for the Word of God to come out of the dark, but they do not get it. They cannot do away with the outcome of their flesh when the night comes. The Bible has enumerated the acts of the flesh in the following verses.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.Galatians 5:19-21
No matter how good one can pretend, the acts of the flesh will reveal the actual state of a person. The absence of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is the bottom line to understand that a person is in the darkness. The scripture warns about this terrible night and warns us regarding people who carry the acts of the flesh and still boast themselves as lovers of God.
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.2 Timothy 3:4-5
When hypocrites preach the Gospel, they will fail to bring out the love of God but spread the sin that lies in their hearts. Because Jesus said that whatever is in your heart, that will come through your words. Whatever is in our hearts will be received by people who listen to us. People are mistaking the generous call to sinners, “come to Me just as you are,” to serve Him too. Jesus brings out this truth and warns us to stay away from such people.
Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”Matthew 15:14
What are we imparting to our fellow believers? When we do not receive forgiveness from God, how are we going to teach others about forgiveness? Like Paul, we might not want to do the things we do. We should understand that the things we do not want to do, are not done by us but by the sin hidden in our subconscious mind. Because of this helpless situation, we struggle to concentrate on the things we should do. The Bible teaches us to resist the devil, and the more we try to resist, the more we give him a footstool. Then, how to resist the devil? Resisting the devil means shifting our focus from devil to our God.
While we are in our casual wear, we won’t hesitate to sit wherever we like and we don’t bother about the dirt and mud that spoils our clothes. When we wear formals to our office or party, wear for some special occasion, we take care not to let them get dirty. Likewise, we ought to clothe ourselves with the garment of praise, and when we praise God, we should take care to keep ourselves clean. People try to correct the dress codes of the youngsters, their mannerisms, their body language. By doing so, they inadvertently bring out the filths hidden within them. If we are getting distorted by the outward appearance of others, should we not grow mature enough to not be disturbed by the appearance of others? Should we not shield ourselves in His love so that we are not affected by the outcome of the sinful life of others.
When we fail to identify our salvation in Jesus, the sin hidden in our hearts will help us identify the sin that lies in other people’s hearts. In our efforts to hide our sin, we deflect and accuse others of the very sin that has gripped us (Revelation 10:12). When sin creeps into our hearts, it brings doubts and fear along. To remove the doubts and fear from the hearts of His disciples, Jesus asked them to wait in Jerusalem. There, they experienced their salvation and lived to proclaim the Good News to all nations.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8
Not relying on the expertise of our past mistakes but on the power of the Holy Spirit, God wants us to bear witness for Him (Zechariah 4:6). As prisoners, Paul and Silas worshipped God, and everyone who heard them understood the power of the Holy Spirit. The listeners understood that nothing could bind the joy of their salvation, and the Holy Spirit confirmed through an earthquake that prison cells could not bind His people. Paul and Silas were not ashamed of their situation but happy in the presence of the unseen God.
There was no ego, self-pity, shame, or fear hidden in their heart but the Spirit within them rejoiced in God irrespective of their current situation. As a result, they weren’t interested in fleeing from the prison cell but were keen on saving the souls of a family from eternal death. Instead of using the opportunity, they encouraged the jailor not to end his life but to live and assured him that no one had gone out of their cells. Seeing their love, the jailor asked them the way for their salvation.
Did anyone ask us the way for salvation? Probably none would have asked us so far because we are blaming the situation rather than utilizing it to accomplish the will of God. Beware of the coming night, and when the day prevails, let us work hard to fulfil the will of God in our lives as well as in the lives of others.
Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.Ephesians 5:15-16