Treasures of Darkness
"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.
"Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass
yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of
your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled.
This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down
in sorrow" Isaiah 50:10-11.
"And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and
hidden riches of secret places" Isaiah 45:3a.
Have you recently found yourself being taken over a path
you were not expecting to walk on? A path of adversity and
suffering which altogether confounded you, and was beyond
your ability to explain?
You were unable to sense God's Presence as in times past.
You tried to reason it out, only to become more confused.
"Lord, I do not understand this. Why are You hiding Yourself
from me? Why are You dealing with me like this? Lord, it seems
the more I desire to do your will, the more I experience trials
and testings. It was not like this when I was not as earnest
as I now am in following You. Lord, what is going on?"
The Scriptures tell us that we are not to think it strange
concerning the trials which are to try us, as though some
strange thing happened to us (I Peter 4:12). These experiences
are not necessarily a result of sin, failure, or a lack of
spirituality, as some teach.
We read in our text that one who has a reverence and love
for the Lord, and a desire to obey His voice, finds himself,
at times, going through periods of darkness and perplexity.
It seems to him as if God's face is turned from him, and that
the Lord is indifferent to his cries. He goes forward, but
God is not there. He goes backward, but cannot perceive Him.
God is nowhere to be found(Job 23:3-8). The sky is overcast
with dark clouds. He does not know what to do, or which way
to turn. He feels as if he is groping his way in darkness,
unable to see the step ahead.
What is a person to do when he finds himself going through
times of darkness? The admonition given by the prophet Isaiah
is "Let him trust in the Name of the Lord, and stay upon
his God." Both these words, "trust" and "stay"
mean to "lean hard on." We are not to fear or panic
when we are in darkness, but are to lean hard upon God, however
bewildering our circumstances may be.
What does it mean to trust in the name of the Lord? In Hebrew,
a name does not mean simply the title by which a person is
called. Rather, it means the character, the personality of
the person. The name of God therefore refers to the nature
and character of God. We read in Psalm 9:10, "They that
know Thy Name will trust in Thee." It is quite clear
the Psalmist is not saying that those who know that God is
called "Jehovah" will trust in Him. He is saying
that those who know what God is like, those who know His nature,
His character, will put their trust in Him.
At times, circumstances seem to negate God's faithfulness,
justice, and goodness. Our trust must be deeply rooted in
who God is and not in what He does, or does not do. We may
not understand why God allows certain things to occur, but
we can rest in Him, knowing that all of His acts are consistent
with His character. All God does agrees with all God is. No
matter how things may look, His acts and ways are pure and
good. In all His relations He is faithful to bring about that
which He has spoken.
When we are walking in darkness and can no longer see the
path ahead, or when we are in deep testings beyond our understanding,
we can be reassured. God knows the way that we take (Job 23:10).
He sees our path from the beginning to the end. he knows every
step of the dark path which we cannot see. He can be utterly
trusted and relied upon.
A father and his little girl were walking through a large
crowd of people. As they pressed through the throngs, the
daughter tightened her grip on her daddy's hand, smiled and
said, "Daddy, I'm sure glad you can see where we are
going because down here, I can only feel the pressing of all
these people." God knows where He is leading us. We can
put our hand in His hand, being confident that He will lead
However, during our season of darkness, the great temptation
is to start kindling our own fires instead of trusting the
Lord. We want to compass ourselves with sparks in hope that
they will give us light by which to walk. Instead of leaning
upon God we begin to lean upon our own understanding. We debate
within ourselves concerning the circumstances we find ourselves
in. We weigh our situations on the scales of our natural judgment,
unaware that we are resting our faith in our logic rather
than in God Himself. We attempt to find some reason for what
we are going through. We cannot trust the wisdom of God without
It is at this very point that we begin to run here and there
in a vain effort to find some way to escape from the dark
trial. We tell our friends about the hard place we are in;
running from one to another seeking advice until we hear the
words we are hoping to hear all along; "You don't need
to go through this! This cannot be from God." With a
sigh of relief, we take their words as confirmation that our
time of adversity and suffering is not God's will for our
lives. All these are fires of our own kindling and God will
let us walk in our own way in the light of these sparks, but
the end will be sorrow.
It is easy to rejoice and trust in God when the sun is shining
and all is bright and pleasant. But it takes implicit faith
to trust the Lord when we cannot sense Him, when it appears
as though He has abandoned us, as He is silent to our cries.
God wants us to trust Him with all our heart and lean not
unto our own understanding. As we acknowledge Him in all our
ways, He will direct our steps and bring us out of that dark
place in His time and in His way(Proverbs 3:5-6).
But why does God allow those who have a desire to obey His
will to go through periods of darkness and perplexity? What
purpose do they hold for our lives? God does not allow His
people to suffer for the sake of suffering alone. Whenever
the Lord permits something to happen to us, He has a purpose
behind it. God's way is always a way of spiritual profit,
regardless of how the circumstances may look.
"Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, the Holy One of
Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teachest thee
to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou
shouldest go" Isaiah 48:17.
In Isaiah 45:3 we see the purpose in God allowing the believer
to experience times of darkness:
"And I will give thee treasures of darkness and hidden
riches of secret places."
There are treasures to be gained during these times; not
earthly treasures such as wealth, fame, or influence; but
heavenly treasures such as wisdom, and the revelation of Divine
truth (Colossians 2:3). There are secrets within the heart
of God that will never be revealed to us through our attending
conferences, reading books, or listening to tapes. Psalm 19:2
says, "Night unto night sheweth knowledge." Manna,
which is a type of revelation, was given during the night
(Exodus 16:1-16, Rev. 2:17).
God always brings us into darkness with the idea of bringing
us back out into a greater, wealthier, place in Him.
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us,
as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net;
thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast
caused men to ride over our heads; we went through
fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out
into a wealthy place" Psalm 66:10-12.
"Thou broughtest us out." The devil will attempt
to make us believe that we will be left in darkness forever.
But, there is an <B>appointed<D> time when the
Lord will bring us out.
The life of Moses is an illustration of this principle. The
call for Moses to come up into the mount speaks of elevation,
vision, and a place of revelation. But it was actually a call
into darkness: "and the Lord called Moses up to the top
of the mount; and Moses went up ... and drew near unto the
thick darkness where God was" (Exodus 19:20, 20:21. See
also Exodus 24:12-18). The people, because of fear, stood
far off and thought God wanted to kill them. But Moses drew
nigh unto the thick darkness where God was and, as he remained
there, received the revelation of the tabernacle and various
laws and ceremonies which were an example and shadow of heavenly
things. God revealed to Moses His heart's longing for a people
who would make Him a sanctuary, that He might dwell among
them. It was in the thick darkness that God communicated something
of His feelings, burden, and intent for the nation of Israel
Many times, like the children of Israel, we misinterpret
the darkness, associating it with evil and fear. Instead of
drawing near to God we stand afar off, complaining and murmuring.
We judge God harshly and accuse Him of being unfaithful toward
us, leading us down a path that will surely end in despair
and destruction. We attempt to escape from our circumstances,
and we sometimes succeed. The sad thing is that by refusing
to cooperate with God, we hinder His working in our lives
and never receive what He intended to give us.
Let us not misjudge God because of our circumstances. Let
us not misinterpret these times of darkness. Let us not be
afraid to draw near to God when there is no light. God is
in our darkness. Even though He seems hidden from us, we are
not hidden from Him. He is with us and has promised never
to leave us or forsake us. In Psalm 139:12 we read:
"Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the
light shineth as the day: the darkness and the
light are both alike to Thee."
There are eternal riches that God longs to reveal to us in
these times of darkness. It is as we are willing to abide
in the darkness and draw near to God in an attitude of cooperation,
that we can receive these heavenly treasures.
We can trust God to bring us out of the darkness in His time
and in His way. In doing so we will find ourselves much richer
in Him! Even in the shortest tunnel He asks us to go through,
we can come out with something in God, a quality of revelation
that we never had before.
Let our prayer be:
"Oh darkness, that hideth our blessed Saviour,
yield thy secrets unto us."