May 1st 2009

Even in the darkness

“…Though you were dark, you would be like the morning. And you would be secure because there is hope”

Job 11:17-18 NKJ

“Has the light gone out for you?”† asks one of the hit songs of recent years.

In the 21st century everything seems to be spiralling towards darkness. Terrorism, economic crashes, world food shortages, oppressive regimes, diseases, feelings of hopelessness. People just do what is right in their own eyes, with little thought for others or of a higher spiritual authority. On top of all this, Christianity itself seems to be failing. Who cares about what Christians think? We have lost all sense of our spiritual heritage. Is our light going out?

In the book of Job everything seems bleak. Job himself is desolate. One of his friends, a man called Zophar, suggests that the problem is that Job needs to repent. If only he would change his ways, things would get better. Job’s response is that “it ain’t necessarily so”‡. Repentance is necessary but in this wicked and unfair world things go wrong whether we repent or not. Zophar’s view that hope brings comfort and security is right, though. We need to see the light of hope in the darkness of despair.

I love Psalm 112:4 as worded in the New International Version of the Bible. It reads, “Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man”. Whatever chaos is going on around us, let’s not abandon our Christian values. Don’t give up. Continue to be gracious, compassionate and righteous.

Even in the darkness don’t turn off the light of your example, and keep focused on the light of hope. The Good News is that Jesus, the Light of the world, will return. There’s a new dawn coming.

Prayer:

Loving Father, thank you for the hope we have in Christ Jesus. That even when all around is dark and alarming, we have the certain hope of his return and we rest in the comfort that he is the Light of world.

Amen.

By James Henderson

† “Has the light gone out for you” is taken from “Bodysnatchers” by Radiohead (In Rainbows, 2007).

‡ From the opera Porgy and Bess, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin.

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