A Day of Darkness

By Joel McNabb

We are settling into the season which is called Autumn.  We are aware of this because our mornings and evenings are getting gradually darker.  Here in America we try to find a way to help us through this dark period by moving the time back an hour.  Still, the darkness keeps on coming.

When I say that it is getting darker, it brings to my mind that the light is fading, or, one could say, failing.  In the scriptures, God’s word is called light.  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105).  John 1:5 declares, “The light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

God also said in Gen. 1:3, “Let there be light, and there was light,” because in the beginning the earth was without form and void, “and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”  God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness.

Again, in 2 Cor. 4:6, Paul said, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory for God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

It is very interesting, then, that God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Yet, if we consider the first day, where He said let there be light, we can see that God let the light of the knowledge of good and evil happen.  There are people who only see the sin of eating the tree.  But the tree was not of the knowledge of evil only, but also of good.

Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:8, not to be ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.  Looking at the first day as a thousand-year period, man gained knowledge: some bad, some good.  Light shined forth, and God said it was good.

Even though there was good on the earth, evil reared its head almost immediately.  We can see the evil that was revealed through Cain.  God separated good from evil by sending Cain away: dividing light from darkness, but the sons of God (Seth’s descendents) mingled with the daughters of men (Cain’s descendents), thus mixing light and darkness, or good and evil.  That is why on the second day God divided the waters.  (Note that the second day is the only one in which God did not say it was good.  See Gen. 1:6-8.)

In the second thousand years, we come to the time of Noah, and it repented God that He had made man, and He destroyed everything that had the breath of life, except for a few people and some animals.  This could not exactly be called “good.”  During the flood it must have been pretty dark, because I have seen some powerful storms where there was very little light.

Jesus told us that His return would be like the days of Noah.  I wonder what Christians think that He means by this statement.  Noah is our sign for today, but there are a lot of Christians looking for something else.  What sign are you looking for?

God, on the fourth day, made another division.  He divided the day and the night, making two great lights, and stars.  He set the Sun to rule the day, and the Moon to rule the night.  In the thousand-year period of time, which I will call the fourth millennium, God set Israel up to be his kingdom on earth to rule His people.  From the days of Saul, Israel began to shine forth as the morning.  By the time of Solomon, the Kingdom was one of the brightest in the world.  So much so, that the fame of his kingdom was published throughout the whole world.  Then his idolatry, along with the rest of the kings of Israel, caused their light to diminish.  It went out under the Babylonian government, as Israel went into captivity.  A question could be asked here, “Where does the moon receive its light from?”  As the Moon reflects light from the Sun, so also did Babylon reflect the light of Israel by the influence of Daniel and his three friends.  Later, Esther had some influence over her husband, the king of Persia.  One can see that the nations of Israel’s captivity are like the Moon in Genesis 1, which was to “rule the night.”

By the end of their seventy years of captivity, even their light went out.  Nehemiah tells us just how dark it had become in chapter 13:23-24, telling us that “their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak the Jews language, but according to the language of the people.”

Every day has a dawn, a peak, and a sunset, bringing us into night.  If we are truly living in the days when our Lord’s return is imminent, we must know that the prophet Joel told us that it would be a day darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.  If we read in 1 Thess. 5:1-10, He tells us the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night and not in broad daylight. He also said we are not in darkness that that day should over take us as a thief.  Ye are children of light (remembering that knowledge is light), and children of the day.  Therefore let us not sleep as the ten virgins whose lamps went out, but let us watch and be sober, that we not be found sleeping.

I believe we are living at the time of the midnight cry, when Christians are to awaken and find the oil for their lamps that have gone out.  The virtuous woman (the Church) will have her lamp burning throughout the night, for her candle goeth not out by night (Proverbs 31:18).

Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-15, “Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”  Noah built an ark for the saving of his house.  Remember that Jesus said “the days of Noah” would be our sign.

Let your light shine, and do not sleep as others do.  For the day of the Lord is darkness and we must heed Amos’ warning in chapter 5 verse 18.  “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord!  To what end is it for you?  The day of Lord is darkness, and not light.”                                                 

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