TRUSTING in GOD while WALKING in the DARK
August 1 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 49-51
"Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God. Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled-- this you shall have from My hand: you shall lie down in torment." (Isaiah 50:10-11)
The prophet Isaiah calls upon those who “fears the Lord” and “obeys the voice of God’s Servant”. The fear of the Lord—that is, the reverence of God—is the beginning of true wisdom (see Prov. 1:7). God’s Servant mentioned here prophetically speaks about Jesus Christ, who came into this earth as a lowly servant. So, the exhortation is for those who revere God and obey Christ that they continue to trust God even during times of distress (pictured as walking “in the dark”).
On the other hand, the prophet Isaiah issues a warning to those who try to solve their problems by using their own effort (pictured as walking “in the light of” their own “fires”). Those who refuse to trust God and rely instead on their own abilities will ultimately face torment. Those “who kindle a fire” means those who are self-reliant, instead of walking in the light of the Lord and His Servant (Isaiah 2:5; 42:6). When the ‘Light of Life’ comes into the world, some will choose darkness (John 3:17, 18). Torment indicates God’s punishment for unbelief.
The above verses describe two groups of people. The first group of people walks in dependence on the Lord. They confess their own need for guidance. For them God’s advice is to trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon their God. Then they will be flooded with illumination. The second group of people tries to manufacture their own guidance, feeling no need of divine direction. They can walk in the light of their own sparks but the Lord will see to it that they will lie down in torment.
Let us clearly understand that people who fear and obey God can still end up in the darkness of perplexity. Then they are tempted to light their own fires and try to find their way out by themselves. Instead, these verses exhort them to trust the Lord and wait on Him for help, and He will give us the light that we need when we need it.
Our Christian life is comparable to a walk from the ‘outer court’ to the ‘Holies of Holies’ through the ‘Holy Place’ of the Tabernacle. There is sunlight in the outer court, candlelight in the inner court, but no light in the innermost court. It is when we progress to the near presence of God that we rely and trust completely on God alone as we ‘walk by faith and not by sight’ (2 Cor. 5:7). That is what God is expecting from each one of us!
"Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He (God) is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous." (Psalms 112:4)
"You who love the Lord, hate evil! He (God) preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." (Psalms 97:10-11)