“DRIVING IN THE NIGHT” By Pastor YAU
Text: Psalm 119:105-108 February 20, 2011.
1) Here is a promise: On the promise in the Bible in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good” in the end. Dr. Joe Stowell, a contributing writer of the DAILY BREAD, said: “I’ve always thought that I could get through just about anything if the Lord would tell me what the outcome would be. I believe the promise in the Bible, but I’d do a lot better in dark times if I know what the “good” would look like.”
2) Here is the answer: But God usually doesn’t show us where He is leading us. He just asks us to trust him. It’s like driving a car in the darkness of night. Our headlights never shine all the way to our destination; they illuminate only about 160 feet ahead. But that doesn’t deter us from moving forward. We trust our headlights. All we need is enough light to keep us moving. God’s word is like headlights in dark nights. They only show us enough light for us to move forward. If we can trust headlights of a car, we can trust more the word of God to lead our future.
SOME BIBLICAL INSIGHTS ON NIGHT:
1) God created the night: “God saw all that he had created, and it was very good. And there was evening, there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31) This is the sixth time the phrase “there was evening and there was morning” was used in the creation account. Jewish timing sets the evening at 6pm almost like what we call the beginning of night. After God created the sun, the moon and all the stars, he set them to govern the day and the night. (1:16-19) No one may deny the wisdom of God to divide the day in daytime and nighttime. You may want to figure it out why God put “the evening (night)” before he put “the day” when he expressed his delight on his creation.
2) Nighttime is rest time: “In vain you rise early (in the morning) and stay up late (at night), toiling for food to eat, it is (the Lord) who grants sleep to those (whom) he loves.” (Psalm 127:2) King David described the emptiness of hard work from early morning to late at night, but it is the Lord who gives peace of sleep to those he loves. After the Great Fall and the curse on the earth, human being has to toil very hard to get what he needs for his stomach. God is merciful to provide nighttime so men may rest his body from labor and toiling of the day.
3) Nighttime will turn to day: “For his anger last only a moment but his favor lasts for a life lime. Weeping may remain for a night but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) In the Bible, nighttime usually represents darkness and painful time in our life. King David assures us that the favor of the Lord lasts much longer than his anger on our sins. God may allow us to go through the pain of the night, but he will bring us joy in the morning of the day. No weeping will last forever.
4) God is always faithful: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)These are words of prophet Jeremiah as he mourned for the suffering of the Israelis under seize by the Babylonian army. Although the night was long and dark, but Jeremiah was sure of God’s compassion and his faithfulness were fresh and new each morning. So, there is hope in the darkness of night. The love of God will never allow his people to be consumed by their enemy.
WHY DIDN’T GOD SHOW US ALL THE WAY?
1) God is all sovereign: “The Lord said to Job: Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him. I will question you and you will answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” (Job 40:1, 7-8) While Job was in great pain, he got confused and blamed God of his justice in allowing him to go through the suffering. In Job 40-41 God challenged Job to discredit his wisdom in creation and making all things happened. So many things in God’s plans and his acts we will never understand and we have no right to question him. No one may tell God what he should do or should not do.
2) God always acts that way: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obey and went, even though he did not where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8) In the same way, God didn’t show Moses all the events or steps of exodus when he was called. In stead God showed him pillars of cloud in the day and fire in the night. In all history, no one has ever be shown all the steps of his life or what things would look like at the end of his journey of faith. God promised to hold our hands, lead our ways, step by step, without showing us our destination. That was the way God did in the past, and that is the way he will act in the future.
3) God treasures real faith: “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) God treasures our faith in Him lot more than things we see with our eyes. This is true from the call of Abraham in early Bible history to the call of all Christians in our time. Countless faithful children of God testify the importance and the beauty of faith far more than the things we may see. All those whom God loved and treasured as giants in the Bible are people lived by faith not by sight. God wants us to focus your eyes on Him by faith not on things he does for us or gives to us. Our faith in him helps us to believe that God knows where He is leading us even though we don’t see what the results may be.
4) God works in the unseen: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18) Paul was talking about a choice between the things we can see in this world and those we can see in eternity, and he preferred not the seen but the unseen. The basis of his choice is the seen exists only temporarily but the unseen will exist forever. All God’s children should have that attitude in our pursuit of a godly life. We are not the same people as those in the world. We are God’s people and we need to see things in God’s way. Our hope and joy doesn’t come from things we can see but from things we cannot see.
GOD’S WORD IN A DARK NIGHT: (Psalm 119:105-108)
1) We do have enough light: “Your word is the lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (119:105) As headlights of our car shine about 160 feet on the path to enable us to go forward, God has given us his word as light on our path so we also can go forward. As we don’t need headlights to see our destination, we also don’t need God’s word to show us all the way to heaven before we can continue our journey toward God. God knows how much light we need to follow Him, He provides us enough light on our path. We don’t need to ask for more.
2) We need to follow his word: “I have taken an oath and have confirmed it that I will follow your righteous law.” (119:106) We often suffer consequences of our erroneous acts and selfish choices when we deter from God’s word that causes us to sink into the darkness of the night. But God’s word is the light to show us the way back to Him. We made the promise when we first decided to follow him. God has always kept his promise to us. We also need to keep our promise to follow his righteous law. If we have fallen away from His path, we need to seek his word to bring us back to the right path.
3) We seek his deliverance: “I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.” (119:107)When we are down in the pit, God is our only hope. We need to seek his deliverance by following his word and he always will rescue us as he has promised. Even if we travel in the darkness of night we fear no evil for God is our deliverance and our Savior.
4) We will praise his name: “Accept, O Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.” (119:108)We should never forget what God has done for us and give him praises he deserves. Too often, we forget God’s love, grace and protection and never keep the promises we made in time of our distress. We are reminded by the word of King David in Psalm 103:2, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” We should not forget the blessings of the Lord in time of our need. God never forgets his promises and we shouldn’t forget ours.
1) That’s all we need: We don’t really need to see our destination when we drive. We only need to see that path long enough for us to go on, same thing to our spiritual journey. If we can trust the headlights of our car, how much more we can trust the word of God to lead our way? Our faith in God and his word should be much stronger than that of the headlights of a car.
2) Need to know God’s way: Our problem in knowing God’s way often times hinders us in following him. We want God to work “our way” and most of the times God didn’t follow our way. We need to respect God and follow his way instead of the other way around. His way is all in His word, the Bible. You want to know how God does and where he is leading you, read hid instruction manual. Then you won’t get lost.
3) God is waiting for you: God loves to show you the way you need to travel to a higher ground for your life. But you need to trust him and accept his way of leading you. Ask Jesus to come into your heart so he can help you choose the right path and supply you with the faith to go forward. Don’t travel in this world alone.