‘Thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. Psalm 18:28
Darkness is not a pleasant condition. Children fear it; man cannot function well in its presence; therefore, from the beginning of time, man has done what he could to eradicate it. We live in an age when complete darkness is rare as lights of every description, strength, and size have been invented to try to eliminate the “normal” darkness that descends on us between sunset and sunrise. We need light to accomplish most things. Even the smallest flashlight or match can help to dispel the darkness that exists in the absence of light. The only ones who actually enjoy darkness (apart from nocturnal creatures) are those who use it as a cloak to cover their wicked deeds, e.g. thieves. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)
At the beginning of Psalm 18, there is a brief description of what was going on in David’s life when he penned these words:
“David, the servant of the LORD, who spoke unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.”
These same words are repeated in 2 Samuel 22:9
“For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.”
The Philistines had come up against Israel and David and his servants went out and fought against them. The Bible records that “David waxed faint” in the battle against the son of a giant and almost lost his life. David’s men were critical of him and told him not to go out any more with them to battle, that he “quench not the light of Israel.”
David must have been discouraged because he tried his best. He was a much older man in this battle than when he first fought a giant many years before, but God gave him the victory then– despite what his men said — God gave victory again because the Bible records that none one but four giants “fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.” David was so appreciative of the Lord’s intervention in his crisis that he sang a song of praise to God which is recorded in 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18. David thanked God that He alone was able to “light his candle” and “enlighten his darkness.”
When the way is dark before you…
Even the happiest Christians experience dark, depressing times; some Christians seem to endure more darkness than others. There is no explanation for that except to say that the Lord in His sovereignty is perfecting that which concerns each one of us and sometimes the road that we’re on will be shrouded by darkness for a time.
Consider the testimony of some of God’s servants:
“He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.”
“When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.” (Job 30:26)
“Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.” (Psalm 88:6)
Sometimes we can find ourselves “in the deeps.” That is not necessarily because we have sinned, but because God has sent a challenging situation to test us or to get us on our knees to draw us closer to Himself. Physical darkness is one thing, but spiritual darkness is much more challenging.
Abraham suffered a “horror of great darkness” for a brief time after he had rescued his nephew Lot when he was kidnapped at the battle of the kings (Genesis 14). He had spent such energy bringing Lot and his family and goods back. No doubt he was under great stress and sometimes the aftermath of a great trial takes its toll. He was greatly distressed about not having a son (Gen.15:3) even though the Lord had promised.
Maybe that is your state right now — “A horror of great darkness.” The darkness is blocking your way and you can’t see where to go next. So what can we do at such times? We cast ourselves upon the mercy of God and we don’t let go and until He brings us out!
There is a simple Christian song by the late John Peterson which has a well-known line about walking in darkness.
Are you discouraged and are you blue
Are clouds obscuring the sun from view?
Keep trusting Jesus, though storms assail
You have His promise He will not fail
It’s always darkest before the dawn,
Don’t be discouraged but carry on,
He’ll not forsake you, the sun will break through
It’s always darkest before the dawn.
He knows your heartache, He understands,
Just put your problems in His great hands,
No trouble meets you but in His will,
He’s not forgotten, He loves you still.
The Lord does not allow His child to sit in darkness indefinitely. There is a beginning and an end. One important thing to remember is that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5). “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. (Psalm 139:12) God does not see the darkness we see! All is light and makes sense to Him.
God promises LIGHT.
David believed that God would light his “candle” and God would light his darkness. It was only a matter of time. This should encourage us because it is the will of God that we let our light so shine before men.
Let us be encouraged by these precious promises:
· Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psalm 112:4)
· And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)
· Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. (Isaiah 50:10)
· Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (I Thess.5:5)
Whatever dark trial you are going through, keep your eyes upon the LORD GOD. The horizontal will only discourage you. The LORD is in control. He knows what He is doing. Trust and do not be afraid.
The ten Boom family were Dutch Christians who helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust of WWII. When their home was raided after an informant tipped off the Nazis of their activities, the entire family was imprisoned. Corrie and her sister were sent to a notorious Nazi concentration camp. Corrie was miraculously released from prison just days after her sister had died there. God brought incredible beauty and healing to her through her difficult experiences, and her words still have great relevance and impact in our world today.
Corrie shared these valuable thoughts:
· “In darkness God’s truth shines most clear.”
· “Now, I know in my experience that Jesus’ light is stronger than the biggest darkness.”
· “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. you sit still and trust the engineer.”
May God help you, as He helped David, by lighting your candle and enlightening your darkness. May that deliverance cause you to let your light shine even more brightly before others as a testimony of what God can and will do in the lives of His people!