DayBreaks for 11/10/16 – A Significant Variation

DayBreaks for 11/10/06: A Significant Variation

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2006: (Galen is traveling again)

Genesis 1:3-5 (NIV) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.

I love the book of Genesis.  I’m so excited because I started teaching a new Bible study on it just last week.  So many of the great stories of the Bible, and really all of the great themes of the Bible, are found in the book: creation, light/darkness, the fall, Messianic expectation, sacrifice, compassion and grace and mercy, Lordship, faithfulness, covenant living, redemption, forgiveness, and on and on and on. 

But I recently was fascinated all over again by the creation story itself.  When we talk about a 24-hour period of time, we speak in these terms: “I’m working day and night.”  If someone asked you what constituted a day, you’d probably say “Twelve hours of daylight, 12 hours of night,” or something very similar.  Yet in chapter one as it tells the story of God’s creative genius, all six days of creation repeat the sequence: “And there was evening and there was morning – the first day.”  Do you see it?  Evening comes before the daylight, night before day.

“So?” you say.  “Big deal.”  Maybe you’re right.  But I don’t think that God put anything in His Word that isn’t intended to show us or teach us something.  The “day” in Genesis starts with night, and ends with the close of a period of light, when a new day starts again.  So what’s the point?  Day #1 started at a time when mankind couldn’t have worked or done anything if we wanted to.  It starts with darkness…a time when God alone can work.  And when we sleep.  Then, we wake up each morning and we can see what God has been doing all night.  He’s been preparing the sun to ride across the sky again, for the earth to continue spinning on its’ axis, for the plants to refresh the oxygen and break down the carbon dioxide. 

But there’s more to it than just that.  God works in the darkness of our lives, when we can’t see our way.  And perhaps that gives new meaning to the oft-quoted verse from Psalms 30:5 (NLT) – His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.  From the reading of the text of Genesis 1, it appears that God pronounces His work good once the light has shone – after the night when He’d been so busily creating. 

One more thought also occurs to me: it was dark as Jesus hung on the cross, and it was morning when He arose.  Again, we see God working in the darkness, again it was for our benefit.  And He was doing work that we could not possibly do for ourselves.

May His Light shine upon us, and when He and we see what He’s been doing in our lives, may we echo God’s words: “It is very good!”

PRAYER: Father, at times the night seems do deep and dark.  We are frightened by every little sound, every creak of the floorboard.  Help us to remember that You never sleep, You never slumber, and that You perhaps do Your greatest work in the darkness.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple.  All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 03/23/12 – In the Darkest Night

DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – In the Darkest Night

33 “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. Luke 11:33

Have you ever sat in a lighted room at night, reading or talking, and suddenly the lights go out? What’s the first thing you say? Usually everyone says, “Who turned out the light?”

In this age of electricity, light is something we take for granted. Few of us ever experience total darkness. In the city, we have street lights which come on automatically as soon as it begins to get dark. In the country, most farms have a mercury vapor light that stays on all night for security reasons. Consequently, most of us never get a good look at the stars as we used to when all the lights went out at night.

Some of the soldiers who came back from the first Persian Gulf War told about the absolute darkness they experienced in the desert. One soldier said, “The darkness on nights with no moon or star light was so total you could have been standing right next to someone and not known it.”

This text from John’s gospel is about darkness and light: “And this is the judgment,” John says, “that the light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”

When I read about the experience of the troops with literal night-time darkness in the Persian Gulf War, being unable to see someone standing next to you, I was forced to consider how often someone has stood or sit or walked right next to me and never knew I had light because I had put it under a bowl so no light shone out of my life.  I didn’t like the answer I heard inside my head.  I want to be a brighter light for Jesus.  I hope you do, too!

PRAYER: Break whatever devices we use to hide the Light so that never again will someone walk beside us and not see the Light!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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