Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 45:3 – I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. (NASB)
Have you ever been lost in the dark? You may have been afraid and unsure, and had to trust your memory of where things were and should be, so as to steer around them. It is an uncomfortable situation to be in!
The Bible speaks of God dwelling in a dark cloud, a darkness which conceals God, and even prevents His people from fully understanding what their God is doing. Yet there are treasures of darkness.
The Lord spoke to Cyrus, an ancient warrior king, through the words of Isaiah the prophet, 200 years before Cyrus was born. Over his career, he captured many nations, eventually conquering Babylon by diverting the Euphrates River into a nearby swamp, which permitted the troops to enter and take the city by surprise under cover of darkness. The treasure was 34,000 pounds of gold and other booty. Yet the real treasure was that God had appointed Cyrus to conquer Babylon and to deliver His people held in captivity there, to return them to the Promised Land. Although a pagan, Cyrus acknowledged that God was in control; he had been called by name in the prophecy, and anointed for the deliverance of Israel.
Throughout the Bible there were many more treasures of darkness! God often concealed Himself, as to Moses in thick darkness on Mount Sinai, or in a dark cloud to the temple priests. Yet the treasure of darkness was a time of intimacy for Moses with God, and for delivery of the Ten Commandments. Abraham was terrified by thick and dreadful darkness in a dream, yet God revealed to him in the dream the future of his family serving as slaves in Egypt. At the Red Sea, God protected His people with a dark cloud while He performed their deliverance at night, not by day! God had planned the liberation of Israel six centuries before it even happened.
Do you fear the darkness? Does your present life situation seem impossibly dark? Since the Lord is in control and sovereign, that wind can blow and part the Red Sea, allowing us to awaken, to see His deliverance, and to praise God for what He did during our time of darkness. God's business is to set people free, and He may send us to help people who are in dark places. When God is in control, He can calm the nighttime fear and anxiety, and give us courage. We can have joy, knowing that although we could not see in the darkness, God had treasures in it for us to discover.
Prayer: Dear and sovereign God, thank You for Your presence even in the darkness of our lives, and Your gentle whisper of encouragement and peace when we are afraid. Open our eyes to the treasures that You have in store for us. May we awaken in praise to You for the special experience of Your love, in times when we could not see ahead of us. Amen!