Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness, and has no light?…
(with Micah 7:8): — Isaiah describes the experience. Micah besides that describes himself as being, or having been, in the heart of the experience. The Bible is a many-sided book.
I. DARKNESS AS A FACT OF CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE, AND THE CHRISTIAN'S PROPER EXERCISE UNDER IT. In the natural world it is not always light, at least with our planet. The sun goes down and darkness spreads. So in the higher life. The spiritual heavens are not always bright. Some sun or other that had been shedding its light on the soul goes down, and the man sits in darkness.
1. It may be the light of faith that is darkened. Spiritual realities are withdrawn into shadow.
2. It may be the light of God's face that is felt to be withdrawn.
3. Darkness may come in the form of the fading away of some Christian hope — personal hopes or hopes for the kingdom of God. This dark experience gives a striking demonstration that God only is man's Comforter.
II. DARKNESS AS A MEANS OF SPIRITUAL DISCOVERY. Perhaps the best explanation of this darkness, and it is a vindication too, is found in the results which it works. In nature the darkness of night lets us see what we cannot see when the sun is shining. It is the same with spiritual night, or may be. The man of God may then get great enlargement of spiritual information and understanding. There need be no mystery why all this is so. The man that sits in darkness is by the pressure of his position made a more diligent searcher into Divine things.
III. DARKNESS AS A DISCIPLINE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. It may secure for it some of its best graces — the mildest, the most mellowed, the most hallowed. There are plants that grow best in a dim light. Amongst those Christian graces that take deeper root in the dark are:
3. Self-surrender.Conclusion —
1. The painfulness of this discipline must not be forgotten. They only know the horrors of Divine desertion who have relished the joys of Divine communion. If these things are done in the green tree what shall be done in the dry? If God takes such means to improve grace, what means will He take to punish sin?
2. Sympathize. with the deserted child of' God. God is not angry with him. "Behind a frowning providence," etc. God does earnestly remember him still (Jeremiah 31:20).
3. Ye who sit in darkness beware of two things — impatience and sullen indifference.
(J. Wardrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
WEB: Who is among you who fears Yahweh, who obeys the voice of his servant? He who walks in darkness, and has no light, let him trust in the name of Yahweh, and rely on his God.