“LET THERE BE DARKNESS“
by Wayne S. Walker
“You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about” (Psalm 104:20). When I was in school (back in the “dark ages,” when no one thought that the first amendment provision that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” meant that individuals in public schools had to refrain from expressing any religious beliefs or for that matter that the schools could not reinforce the religious beliefs of the students), we had a weekly “chapel” service, and students were encouraged to recite memory verses from the Bible. One girl would often say, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God said, ‘Let there be darkness,” and there was darkness.'” Well, that is not exactly what Genesis 1:3 says.
However, the Psalmist said that God does “make darkness, and it is night.” According to Genesis, after God created light, He divided the light from the darkness, calling the light Day and the darkness Night, and then later gave the sun to rule over the day and the moon to rule over the night (Genesis 1:4-5, 14-18). There was an obvious purpose in all of this that was designed to meet the needs of mankind on earth. The hymn writer expressed it thus. “God, that madest earth and heaven, Darkness and light, Who the day for toil hast given, For rest the night.”
The nocturnal beasts of the forest may creep about at night, but God made the darkness of night as a time for rest, that we might relax the body and mind so as to be prepared for the activities of the next day. Unfortunately, some people abuse the darkness and night which are gifts from God. “…Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). “…Those who get drunk are drunk at night” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). However, those who strive to do God’s will can use the blessing of night as God intended. “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet…” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). Yes, God made the darkness, and we can be thankful for it.