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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

ADVENT
DEC. 6




Psalm 139:11-12

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
(will bruise me)
And the light around me will be night,'
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You."





As you know, I love history, even church history.  It is well known that Christians suffered centuries of persecution.  After some of these dark times, Constantine (306-337) became a ruler.  He ended such persecution during his reign.  He built a city, Constantinople, which became Istanbul after it fell.  Some say he himself was converted to Christianity.  At least he was sympathetic and held God in reverence.  He wrote...

"The eternal, holy and unfathomable goodness of God
does not allow us to wander in darkness,
but shows us the way of salvation...
This I have seen in others as well as in myself."





In fact, it was his mother Helena on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land who had built the Church of the Nativity.  In fact, under Constantine, the Council of Nicene convened in 325 to solidify the Christian creed by calling in representatives of the faith from Constantine's empire from England to Northern Africa, Western Europe to Turkey.  St. Nicholas from Turkey (of throw the gold coins in the stocking fame) was indeed one who was there and, as I've said before, got in a fisty-cuff with Arian over God being fully God, fully man.  Good old St. Nick was passionate for his orthodox faith! 

Adam Clarke writing in the 1700's had quite a tirade himself while writing on verses 11 & 12...

"Surely the darkness shall cover me.
Surely the darkness hideth not from Thee."




"Should I suppose that this would serve to screen me, immediately this darkness is turned into light." Anyone who has played hide and seek with a toddler knows how little ones have no concept of how, though they believe they are hidden, they are in fact in plain sight.  Some little ones by  simply putting their hands over their own eyes, believe no one else will see them.  That's God view of us, His little children.






"Darkness and light, ignorance and knowledge, are things that stand in relation to us: God sees equally in darkness as in light; and knows as perfectly, however man is enveloped in ignorance, as if all were intellectual brightness.  What is to us hidden by darkness, or unknown through ignorance, is perfectly seen and known by God: because He is all sight, all hearing, all feeling, all soul, all spirit--all in ALL, and infinite in Himself.  He lends to everything; receives nothing from any thing.  Though His essence be impartial, yet His influence is diffusible through time and through eternity.  Thus God makes Himself known, seen, heard, felt (in a little baby, Emanuel); yet, in the infinity of His essence, neither angel, nor spirit, nor man, can see Him; nor can any creature comprehend Him, or form any idea of the mode of His existence.  And yet vain man would be wise...as if himself possessed a being and powers co-extensive with the Deity!  O ye wise fools!"

"Darkness and light agree;
Great God, they're both alike to Thee.
Thine hand can pierce Thy foes as soon
Through midnight shades as blazing noon."



"If we are ever tempted to take license from the dark,--it is light about us."

Hagar, "Thou God seest me!"





In the beginning God created...Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light.  God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light day,
and the darkness He call night."
(Genesis 1:1, 3-5)





"I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God has illumined it, 
and its lamp is the Lamb."
(Rev.21:22-23)




"I am the Light of the world;
He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will the Light of life."
(John 8:12)


Jesus could say these things as He knew He would be the light in heaven as well as here on earth,
unless one thinks they can hide themselves from such a One.  Silly people!


Even from the darkness of the womb, God brought forth the Light of the world!
(We'll be looking at this in the coming verses.)











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