Friday, July 11, 2014

"No Sun, Moon, or Stars"

No Sun, Moon, or Stars

    Light existed upon the earth before the creation of the sun, moon, and stars.

    "And God said, Let there be light, and there was light… and the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1:3; 5).
    "God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; He made the stars also.  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth… and the evening and the morning were the fourth day" (Genesis 1:16-17; 19).

    Great mystery presents itself to us in this truth of light were it seems, in natural terms, it could not be.  We won't delve into the physical enigma here, but rather glean the obvious spiritual principle, as declared by the Apostle John: "The light shineth in darkness" (John 1:5).  Sometimes great illumination awaits us in venues where it seems no light can shine.  No sun, moon, or stars, as it were, seem to exist, but rather the portending of a pitch darkness that while enshroud us with gloom.  "Surely the darkness shall cover me" (Psalm 139:11).

   I wonder if the Apostle Paul faced such temptation when imprisoned in a Roman jail.  His vibrant walk with the Lord Jesus Christ did not preclude the same internal challenges faced by all believers.  Regarding another such episode of difficulty, Paul confessed, "We despaired even of life" (II Corinthians 1:8).  Entering prison, therefore, likely elicited in Paul the same temptations to fear and uncertainty we would experience in such a circumstance.  In that prison, however, the Apostle discovered a particular blessedness of illumination that shines all the more beautifully through the ages because it emanated from a place where it might seem that no sun, moon, or stars existed…

   "All the saints salute thee, chiefly, they that are of Caesar's household" (Philippians 4:22).

   I find this statement to be one of the greatest affirmations of Christ's triumph in all the Bible.  God transformed a sad place of incarceration into a holy womb of spiritual incubation by sending His servant Paul into the seeming darkness.  Great light awaited the Apostle, however, as he discovered yet another mission field.  Paul pillaged "Caesar's household" by leading untold numbers to the same grace and faith that shone so brightly in his own heart.  Darkness thus served as the backdrop for a far greater display of illumination by the Christ who declared, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12).

   Perhaps in this hour you gaze upon a sky devoid of the greater light, the lesser light, and the stars.  A dark prison seems to await, and you face the Psalmist's temptation that "surely the darkness shall cover me."  If so, recall that God does not require the natural light of sun, moon, and stars in order to illuminate.  His supernatural light, in fact, shines far more brilliantly because of the contrasting darkness and because it glimmers where it seems it could not be.  The Lord Jesus is our light.  Having Him, we require no other illumination, and seeing Him, we see everything we need to see…

"They looked unto Him and were lightened."
(Psalm 34:5)
"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."
(Revelation 21:23)
"By His light, I walked through darkness."
(Job 29:3)

Weekly Memory Verse
    When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?
(Psalm 8:3-4)

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