The day is yours, and yours also the night. (Psalm 74:16)
These words from the psalmist should be as comforting to us as they are challenging. God is in complete control of every aspect of our lives, both day and night, which should strengthen our resolve to live lives that are sold out for our Savior. The Lord God Almighty does not slumber at night (Psalm 121:3-4), leaving you to fend for yourself . . . not for one instant! Even during the darkest night of the soul, the Lord is in complete control, and He has promised you a morning light.
For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)
From dusk until dawn, Jesus is sovereignly overruling all things, just as He does from dawn until dusk. No detail is left unattended. Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from His sovereign will, nor does one hair fall from your head apart from His perfect knowledge. No force in this universe is beyond His control, for all things serve Him (Psalm 119:91).
God will tolerate no rivals, and that includes those principalities and powers that contend against His good. To be sure, evil forces exist in this world, but they are the servants of our Savior, doing His bidding to expand His kingdom. From the first watch of the night until the first light of the day, nothing happens to you that doesn’t first pass through His nail-scarred hands. There is cosmic comfort in knowing our God has said, “I form the light and create darkness. . . . I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).
In sacred Scripture, we find the “night” and “darkness” used as a metaphor for a variety of things, including evil, adversity, affliction, and ignorance. But there is another idea that I want to set before you, which is that darkness can also symbolize disappointment, despair, disillusionment, and defeat. Where light symbolizes God in all His goodness, mercy, and grace, darkness connotes all that is anti-God. We do not see as well in the darkness, but darkness is absolutely transparent to Him. The remedy for us when we are in the middle of our darkness is to trust in our God even when we cannot trace Him. There is much we will miss seeing in the darkness, which is why we must keep our focus on the One who sees all at all times.
And therein lies the challenge in today’s verse. There is no thought we ponder and no action we take that is concealed from our Lord’s eyes. As the psalmist says —
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. (Ps 139:11-12)
Those “secret sins” you are tempted to indulge in? Those acts you believe that darkness and a drawn shade will conceal from a watching world? There is One who is watching, One who discerns your every thought, who knows the words you are about to speak before your lips even form them (Psalm 139:2-4), One for whom there is no such thing as a locked door or “secret place.” Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must all give account (Hebrews 4:13).
Jesus tells us —
There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. (Luke 8:17-18)
Therefore, since our every action is known to our Lord and Savior, we are challenged and commanded to walk in the light of His love and His Word, seeking daily to be filled with His Spirit, and following in the path of right thoughts and deeds.
Because Jesus is in control of both the day and the night, we can advance confidently down that road of righteousness and good works He has called us travel, regardless of how difficult or desperate it may seem at times. Moses compared the brevity of time to “a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4); in light of this truth, let us not waste a single moment fretting over whatever “night” we are currently experiencing. Remember, there is a time coming when there will be no more night, when darkness will be totally vanquished, because the kingdom of God will be fully established and the true Light of this world will shine brightly in the new heavens and the new earth and in every aspect of your existence forever and ever.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!